Dreams Rewired

Archival film does not a treasure make. This soporific endurance test, billed as an interesting and entertaining documentary, is narrated by Tilda Swindon, better known as an actress. Submitted by Austria (in English) to the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, Directors Martin Reinhart, Thomas Tode and Manu Luksch try in vain to draw deep meaning from the development of electronic communications devices.

In the 1880s, telegraphs were supposed create total communication, annihilate distance and end war. Now we take an artsy, pseudo-intellectual look at what has happened since then. When this opened with clips from over 200 films and actors I was encouraged because I recognized many of them ("Battleship Potemkin," Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Lillian Gish); sadly, optimism doesn't keep a person awake...

Here are some of our impressions:
  • It was didactic without being intellectual.
  • It ended five times without having the decency to turn up the lights and let us exit the theater.
  • They tried to be profound but ended up shallow, repetitious and boring.
  • Examples of early telecommunications: telegraphs, radio, movies and television, have all been described in far more interesting ways.
  • I had a good nap.
Actually I DID enjoy our brief look at Lillian Galbraith (the mother of 12 in "Cheaper by the Dozen") who was a world-renowned time-and-motion efficiency expert. She used electronic devices to refine her theories.