Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

Actors: Lucianne Walkowicz, Lawrence Krauss

Release Date: Friday 28th October 2016

Genre(s): Documentary

Running time: 98 minutes

Werner Herzog explores the world of technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and interviews some of the leading minds behind the surge for connectivity in the modern world.

In his advancing years, Werner Herzog seems to be more happy with leaning into his own weirdness and unique interviewing style than ever before. It makes for some unexpected comedic moments, particularly when people aren't entirely sure why an ageing German man is glaring at that them in silence with a camera crew surrounding them. In any case, it makes for some fascinating documentary moments and Lo And Behold is by far his most prescient one so far.

Herzog explores the themes of connectivity, coming together in communal spirit and how the process of technology has made it more easier for us to do so. Using interviews with the likes of Tesla's Elon Musk, Udacity's Sebastian Thrun and a number of experts in the field of robotics, the internet, artificial intelligence and so on, Herzog shows a world that is rapidly changing in front of our very eyes and what that means for the human. The film is punctuated by Herzog's commentary and musings on the various subjects before him, and he's clever enough to allow a scene play out without interjection or commentary.

The sight of shrouded monks playing with an iPhone or a family who believe that the internet is a manifestation of pure evil and violence works so effortlessly with Herzog's curiosity and imaginative approach that it almost felt scripted. Indeed, one scene sees Herzog interviewing Musk and barking at him that he wants to go to Mars. "I wouldn't have a problem," says Herzog in a completely deadpan manner, to which Musk nods politely and continues on his point. Other scenes are less comedic or purposefully interjected, but still have all the weirdness of Herzog there. One particular scientist talks the cosmology of the internet and how human evolution will eventually reach a point where physical presence is no longer a necessary adjunct to emotional connection.

It's heady stuff, and more often than not, you're left wondering where is it all leading as Herzog travels down the rabbit hole of speculative technology, artificial intelligence and the like. Still, it really is a fascinating watch and Herzog's boundless sense of curiosity and questioning carries you along.