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December 18–23, 2015

Chicago Premiere

Dreams Rewired
Mobilisierung der Träume

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Film still: Dreams Rewired
4 stars "A marvellous essay film... Though most of the footage in this film predates 1940, it still leaves you fantasising about what things there are to come"
  —The Guardian
"Lively, visually enthralling"
  —New York Times
3 stars½ "The meticulously-chosen clips are often hypnotic, but the instinctual narration is what grips the viewer"

Tilda Swinton's hypnotic voiceover and a treasure trove of rare archival footage culled from hundreds of films from the 1880s through the 1930s, much of it previously unseen, combine to trace the anxieties of today's hyper-connected world. The exciting introduction to electric media sparked idealism in the public imagination, and was celebrated as the beginning of an era of total communication, annihilation of distance and the end of war. But then, as we know all too well these days, there were fears over the erosion of privacy and security which subsequently proved to be well-founded.

Dreams Rewired traces contemporary appetites and anxieties back to the birth of the telephone, television and cinema, At the time, early electric media were as revolutionary as social media are now and these technologies were expected to serve everyone, not just the elite classes. Human relationships would become stronger, efficiency would increase and the society would be revolutionized, but these initial promises were very different from what new media eventually brought to daily life.

Using excerpts from early dramatic films, slapstick comedies, political newsreels, advertisements and recordings of scientific experiments obtained during years of research in film archives around the world, co-directors Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode unearth material that is by turns hilarious, revelatory, beautiful and prescient. The archival footage, combined with poetic narration and a virtuosic score by Siegfried Friedrich forges a cross-generational connection between contemporary viewers and their idealistic forbearers of a century ago.

Directed by Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode, 2015, Austria/Germany/UK, 85 mins.


  • Fri., Dec. 18 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Dec. 19 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Dec. 20 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Wed., Dec. 21–23 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation