renart: Alain Delon, acting adorable (Default)
dev ([personal profile] renart) wrote2017-02-16 09:33 am
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Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016, US)

Why am I even writing a review for a Werner Herzog documentary? Just go watch it, it's on Netflix.

"Lo and Behold" is a little all over the place; it opens with an attempt to trace the origins of the internet in a pretty historical and practical way. However, it quickly broadens itself into a more philosophical and ethical look at how the net's invention has irrevocably changed our society, for better or worse. It's meandering but still entertaining and asks some interesting questions about where online life and instantaneous communication are taking us as a species. The people interviewed range from Elon Musk, to a group of robotics students designing bots capable of playing soccer, and to the programmers behind self-driving cars. There's also time devoted to discussing the issues of modern communication and privacy with former hacker Kevin Mitnick, the bereaved family members of Nikki Catsouras, internet and game addicts in recovery, and so on. It's not a film that's wholly judgmental of technology, though Herzog is a well known Luddite; rather, it pretty broadly examines the truly inspiring and terrifying ways humans have adapted the internet and related technology into our daily lives, and well beyond. Mars colonies controlled primarily by wireless satellite technology might not be so far off in the future as one would think.

I'd also recommend "Into the Inferno", since it, too, is a fairly new Herzog doc out on Netflix. Though I have much less to say about it; the subject matter is interesting and it's great to see how Herzog explores the immensely fascinating relationships different cultures have with volcanoes, but I accidentally got too high and slept through roughly half of the movie. Oops.

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