Without the internet, this review would not be possible. The review is posted on a website. My research and fact checking is done using various internet sites. And the review DVD was sent to me through an exchange of email. If the internet goes down, this review doesn’t exist. Thanks to the internet, this review will always be lurking on the world-wide web. appropriately all this internet assistance is for Werner Herzog’s Lo And Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World. The documentary introduces to a multitude of people who have either contributed to the internet or found their severely lives changed by the internet.
This isn’t a straight history of the internet. There is a bit of history starting with how the web was invented when a computer at UCLA and another at Stanford were hooked up one night to chat. We get to see the old computer that in 1969 was hooked with another computer. Just like your first experience on AOL in 1996, the first message sent was bumped offline. He talks with Bob Kahn who helped set up Internet Protocol. There’s talk about how in the early days there was a slim “phonebook” of everyone who could get online. And nobody did evil things because everyone knew who you were. That’s not the case anymore. Werner points out today’s internet “phonebook” would be over 70 miles thick.
The benefits and future visions of the internet are shown. It’s amazing how many problems can be addressed with groups of people being able to collaborate on a problem. The internet has been the driving force on the driver-less car. There’s even the chance of building a robot soccer team that can beat the World Cup champs. Probably at this point, the robot soccer team can humiliate Manchester United.
Werner goes to the dark heart of the internet when he introduces us to a family that learned how compassion and sympathy is an universal response on the super information highway. Their daughter had died in a grizzly car wreck. Her head was nearly decapitated. An EMT took a picture and posted it online. The family was harassed online by trolls and people who got their jollies from the horrific image. Hard to tell what was worse, the death of their loved one or the hate that came out of their computer. Manners are in short supply as anyone who has existed for 10 minutes on Twitter can confirm. He takes us to a place where cellphone and wifi is banned where people who have issues with the signal go for refuge. A clinic treats people who were addicted to the internet do their best to keep their hands off keyboards. People who rather play videogame and adult films online than live their lives.
The big score for the documentary Werner sitting down with Tesla’s Elon Musk. How will the internet connect with the people of Musk’s proposed Mars colony? Musk has ideas about communications. The sweetest part is when Musk talks about the difficulty of getting people to blast off to Mars without a way of providing a round ticket. Werner immediately volunteers to go to Mars as his final destination. Elon doesn’t seem prepared for someone to be willing to be an expatriate of Earth. The camera finds the ultimate visual of how the world has changed by the internet with a group of monks fixated on their smartphones.
Lo and Behold allows Werner a chance to contemplate civilizations relationship with the internet. We have all this information at our fingertips. But are we using it to improve ourselves or avoid our real lives? Do we use it to absorb more of the world or merely amplify propaganda to narrow our vision? Werner doesn’t get preachy as much as he lets his curiosity explore the vast information system that now controls so much of our lives. If not for the internet, how could I tell you to see this documentary on DVD?
The videos is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks fine as most of the film is the subjects Werner interviews. The audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital. The mix fine since it’s mostly people talking and an occasional computer noise. The movie has English and Spanish subtitles.
Interview with Director Werner Herzog (11:34) has him talk about how the internet is neither good or evil. It’s all about the people who use it. He spends time contemplating autonomous robots. Can they be more likable?
Theatrical Trailer (2:30) gives the true tone of the film.
Lionsgate presents Lo And Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World. Directed by: Werner Herzog. Screenplay by: Werner Herzog. Starring: Werner Herzog, Lawrence Krauss, Kevin Mitnick, Elon Musk & Sebastian Thrun. Running Time: 96 minutes. Rated: PG-13. Released: November 22, 2016.
Tags: Lo and Behold, Werner Herzog