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Tilda Swinton Narrates Experimental Film About a Century of Technology

Directors Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode use rare archival footage from nearly 200 films to create their experimental essay film Dreams Rewired.

Narrated by Tilda Swinton, the film traces the desires and anxieties of today’s hyper-connected world back more than a hundred years, when telephone, film and television were new. As revolutionary then as contemporary social media is today, early electric media sparked a fervent utopianism in the public imagination – promising total communication, the annihilation of distance, an end to war. But then, too, there were fears over the erosion of privacy, security, and morality–fears that should forge an identification between contemporary viewers and their idealistic peers from 100 years ago.

“[The film] deals poetically with our desires to connect to each other, and the way these desires were further spun out into fantasies,” the directors write in a statement. “It is a political film, yielding new perspectives on pressing contemporary debates – on security, privacy, and rights in virtual space; recalling forgotten histories – especially the role of women; and reminding us of the limits to the inclusiveness of utopia.”

Dreams Rewired is playing now in select theaters.