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Friday, March 25, 2016

'Dreams Rewired' DVD: Tilda Swinton Narrated Documentary on History of Mass Communication

Product Details
Icarus Films gives millennials an awesome wake-up call regarding the recent DVD release of the 2015 Tilda Swinton narrated documentary "Dreams Rewired." This film wonderfully showcases the kinder gentler side of the quirkiness that makes Swinton so special. Filmmakers Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart, and Thomas Tode achieve this by having Swinton provide witty commentary over a vintage images dating back to the 1880s. The basic theme of all this is that long-distance inter-personal communication and general connectvity (including its ills) far outdates Al Gore inventing the Internet.

Very true to the spirit of "Dreams," the following YouTube clip of the trailer for the film expertly summarizes the themes of this narrative while providing a sense of the plethora of images that perfectly illustrate those concepts.

The broad concept of "Dreams" is that people of more than a century ago experienced the same angst and unmet expectations regarding the introductions of new technologies as much as modern man does regarding the Internet. An early scene in which Swinton comically narrates footage of a woman being greatly disappointed on meeting a man with whom she conversed over the then new-fangled device the telephone nicely illustrates this.

A subsequent scene in which a train coming right at the camera startles an early movie-going audience partially illustrates anxiety related to that technology. Even more memorable footage shows that virtual reality dates back to the early 20th century. More surreal footage of the actual thoughts of a literal dreamer and the impact on those images further demonstrate the sense of a lack of privacy and related fears that comprise the titular revisions of perceptions of reality.

On a more general level, "Dreams offers looks at several classic early films. These include "Modern Times" by Charlie Chaplin and the fairly literally granddaddy of all propaganda films "Battleship Potemkin." In dosing so, the filmmakers show how films and television (like the information available on the Internet) both reflects and influences society. The rub is that many of us do not know that these images are doing the latter.

The DVD extra utilizes the centuries-old technology of the printed word in including a booklet with two essays that serve as terrific viewer guides.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Dreams" is encouraged to use 21st century technology to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.