SIFF Says:Tracing anxieties about technology back to the 1880s, DREAMS REWIRED makes the past seem present with archival films and commentary about the utopian hopes and moral fears of a hyper-connected world. In her narration, Tilda Swinton says, “Every age thinks it’s the modern age.” With digital innovations speeding up communication and making our world feel smaller, we may believe we are in uncharted territory. We would be wrong. DREAMS REWIRED looks at reactions to the inventions of the telegraph, telephone, and television to show how our ancestors had the same worries we do today. That new technology inspired a utopianism with its promise of total communication, the annihilation of distance, and increasing efficiency. The dark side included a fear of a surveillance state, of the erosion of privacy, and moral hazards like the spread of pornography. Using rare and often unseen archival material from nearly 200 films, DREAMS REWIRED mixes past and present; instead of plunging the audience into the past, it pulls history into the present.
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