Before delving into the mythos surrounding volcanoes in Into the Inferno, Herzog released another documentary earlier this year, tackling an even larger topic, the internet. To manage this great task he splits his documentary into ten different sections, each one presenting us with a different perspective of the internet. With Herzog being someone very aloof to the internet, the entire experience feels even more odd as he takes you with a family who’s life has been ruined by the internet and then meets with great entrepreneurs who’s lives have benefited from today’s technological revolution with the same unbiased self in each encounter.
Herzog starts the documentary at the very birthplace of the internet, matching Leonard Kleinwork’s history lesson to Ride of the Valkyries, indicating the evolutionary significance of the internet’s birth. After introducing us to the basics of the internet, Herzog then proceeds to explore what the internet means for different people, how our society has become technology dependent, the future of the internet, and the possibilities that the internet presents us with.
For every segment Herzog presents us with, he gives a logical explanation about the subject at hand, but also philosophizes each object, asking questions surrounding the internet’s capability to dream and if our society has become entirely dependent on the internet. For every topic he covers, he asks and asks a multitude of questions relating the nature, future, horror, and magnificence of the topic at hand. And in proper Herzog style, he asks each question in the enigmatic-like way possible, adding an extra layer of cryptic thoughtfulness to each topic. Herzog’s pensive attitude towards the material makes it even more profound and works in a twofold manner, where as you’re learning more about the internet, the internet is also becoming a more mystic entity for you.
Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold acts as his thesis about what the internet stands for. He divides said thesis into his ten main points, divulging information about each one whilst simultaneously proposing thoughtful questions that will further the conversation about the internet. Herzog’s methodical approach towards defining and exploring what the internet means, is, and will be is enthralling and his stance on the birth of internet being one of the most important steps in human evolution makes it even more of a conversation instigator. Herzog’s Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected is a complex philosophical analysis of the internet that does struggle with exposition at times but proves an exciting examination of the internet’s essence nonetheless.