lo-and-behold-posterAnyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE Werner Herzog fan. So when we went to AFI DOCS and could only get one ticket to the Guggenheim Symposium, where Werner would be interviewed and show his new documentary, I was thrilled to be the one to go. The interview was wonderful, and Herr Herzog did not disappoint in his storytelling laced with wry jokes. But the film? Sadly, I was not blown away. The film is essentially a primer on the Internet, its history, its promise, its dangers, its future. It is told in chapters, some interesting, some no so much, with titles like, “The Glory of the Net” and “The Internet of Me.” As the title suggests, it is Herzog’s musings and we are along for the ride.

Mostly it is interviews with people in some way connected with the Internet. There are historians, people who were there at the inception of the net, a community who live unconnected because they are super sensitive to wifi, others who are in Internet addiction rehab, cyberbullying victims, people who are keeping the web secure, and also the world’s greatest hacker. There are also a few bits about robots, though I am not sure how they are Internet related. And there’s an interview with Elon Musk.

I think my disappointment was mainly about the lack of Herzogian wit. There are a couple of places that he gets in a line or two, but mostly it is a straight forward doc. It is worth seeing, though not necessarily in a movie theater. Wait for it on Netflix or HBO.

One thought on “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World”
  1. I agree with Arty on this one. I’m not all that familiar with Werner Herzog docs to begin with, so I can’t really speak to how it compares to his previous works. But I tended to tune in and out of this documentary as it skimmed across several sub-themes. The most interesting to me involved the interviews with those who truly did help “invent” the Internet (no, Al Gore is not among them), and the insights provided by one of the U.S.’ most infamous hackers. It’s a bit scary to realize just how dependent we’ve all become on computer technology and how humans are the weak link in the chain when it comes to cybersecurity. So while this film explores some interesting themes, it will appeal most to techno-geeks and straightforward documentary fans. Alex Gibney’s recent doc, Zero Days, offers a slightly more dramatic and intriguing treatment of a similar topic, so I’d recommend seeing that one first. Cyber-geeks of the highest order should see both.

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