Director: Werner Herzog (2016) BBFC cert: 12A
This sketchy documentary by intense German filmmaker Werner Herzog is a series of musings on the history, perils, benefits and future of the internet. Sadly it’s only intermittently amusing or informative.
Travelling across the US, Herzog interviews among others, a robotist, an astronomer, a cosmologist and a hacker. Criminally, Brit genius and inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners Lee barely gets a mention.
It touches upon the development of driverless cars, manned missions to Mars and the chances of robotic football winning the World Cup. Better than England’s, probably.
Some interesting points are made, but the lack of an overarching philosophy to bring the material together betrays the initial premise for the film as a series of short Youtube clips.
It wanders off into electronic existentialism to question whether the internet is self aware and if we can live without it. With a healthy disregard for his own brief, Herzog seems far more interested in the people he meets than in the technology he’s investigating.
We learn the transmission of the first ever internet message was interrupted due to the computer crashing. At least the future began as it intended to carry on.