Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

“Would it be useful for machines to fall in love?” 

If you’ve seen a Werner Herzog documentary before, or even if you just have a vague comprehension about who Werner Herzog is, you’ll know what to expect from a Werner Herzog does the internet documentary. It is exactly as you’d expect – from its opening to closing narration we bear witness to some of the great things about the internet and more so on the very scary things about the internet. Admittedly the documentary is rather unfocused – drifting from one aspect to another without  an identifiable focus  – yet I’m not sure you could really expect otherwise from this statesman of cinema.

The focus of the documentary isn’t the most topical nor is its approach. The best analogy I can give for this is an exchange that occurred between myself and my friend Beth over the app ‘Citymapper’. I hadn’t heard of it whereas she had been using it for ages and couldn’t imagine life without it – prompting me to download the app. Fast Forward a month and I’m evangelically telling my head of department how fantastic this app is -an app many have used for years. That’s Herzog’s treatment of the internet here – his tone and approach is something more akin to bewildered and bemused Grandfather exploring concepts that have been well trodden by many before him. You’ll still learn some new things and it’ll leave you thinking – but the main novelty in watching is just to hear Herzog contemplating the Buddhist monks standing around on their phones.

4 stars

Dir: Werner Herzog

Country: United States

             Year: 2016               Run time:98 minutes

Cast: Werner HerzogLawrence KraussKevin MitnickElon MuskSebastian ThrunLucianne Walkowicz


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