Werner Herzog sets his sights on the Internet in Lo & Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, a discursive ten-section documentary. About a quarter of the film focuses on the genesis of the Internet, in the nineteen-sixties, as a network created by a handful of universities whose members’ names could fit into a slim phone book. With a dose of playful irreverence Herzog is patently funny in this section. Even when the movie darkens, shifting to sensational stories about Internet addicted youth and a family whose personal tragedy led to trolling, the movie remains humorous. When, however, the documentary jumps into the future and contemplates macro issues like solar flares that might destroy civilization and cyber attacks (see Alex Gibney’s Zero Days for a thrilling account), Herzog has trouble maintaining his ironic tone and the movie starts feeling “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

By Alec Julian & Carrie White


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