Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World finds Werner Herzog bringing his distinctive documentarian gifts to bear on a timely topic with typically thought-provoking results. –– 92% on Rotten Tomatoes!
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (2016), Opens August 26th
“The corridors here look repulsive, and yet this one leads to some sort of a shrine,” [Herzog] says… That room is home the first machine ever to send an electronic message via what would become the internet. (The message—“LO,” an interrupted transmission of the “LOGIN” prompt—is where the film title comes from.) Yes, in keeping with Herzog’s ambitious documentary themes, this one is entirely on the internet.
[The film is] not so much a sweeping view of the internet as it is 10 serialized chapters of how our humanity interacts, retracts and abuses “one of the greatest revolutions,” as Herzog says. Some of these chapters include appearances by Arizona State cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, Carnegie Mellon brain researcher Marcel Just, Stanford roboticist Sabastian Thrun and everyone’s favorite Silicon Valley poster boy, Elon Musk. Topics include a colony of people who claim to suffer from sensitivity to wireless radiation signals and who live off the grid, people recovering from internet addiction, questioning scientists about whether the internet will dream of itself or fall in love, [and] how video-gamers helped with mapping and solving molecule puzzles that baffled scientists for years.
With each topic, Herzog is compassionate but stoic. He is not here to judge but also not to be skeptical, after all, he’s a documentarian, not a journalist. In many ways, the film depicts the negative side of humanity, with commentary on the world’s materialism, cruelty and abuse of power (the power of anonymity to be exact). Sometimes it is comical and other times devastating. On one hand, we have the possibilities of the future or self-driving cars and creating colonies on Mars, and the next we have physicist Lucianne Walkowicz explaining how a solar flare could bring the whole internet to a devastating crash that would not project civilization back to the 19th Century but more like the 8th Century.
~~ Emma Sandler, Forbes