The Mainframe is a found footage neo-noir told from the point of view of a network packet. As the packet protagonist streams through the weird, wild world of internet spaces dreamed into animated reality by 1990s Hollywood filmmakers, she becomes curious about the places “outside” her mainframe home. Catapulted into consciousness, she discovers the “real” world of the 1990s is a dark and paranoid place, where people are obsessed only with hacking back into her virtual world. The Mainframe is composed entirely of material from American movies thematically focused on hacking and virtual reality, made between 1990-1999. Cut together in a new way, these films reveal how people living on the edge of the 21st century anticipated and envisioned the new digital realms of identity, communication, and control.