Wednesday, 5 October 2016

REVIEW - LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD (WERNER HERZOG)


Reveries, premonitions and predictions in Werner Herzog's portrait of the past, present and possible future of the internet. The Herzogian quirk is kept to a relative minimum for this insightful documentary, which is thus rendered a more straightforward examination of its subject, rather than of its subject's examiner. Don't dare brand Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World 'minor' Herzog, however - the briefest reminder of his eternally askew perspective of the world, delivered in deliciously deadpan comic observations, and you'll know that there's nothing at all minor happening here. Adopting an inquisitive approach that offers more breadth than depth, Lo and Behold is an undeniably enjoyable and engaging experience, but an absorbing one it is not. In narrative adjuncts of a wide tonal variety, Herzog both disappoints and gives purpose to his style, which is more distant and suggestive than his usual exploratory approach. Unobtrusive and yet blatantly engineered to befit his stylistic scheme, the editing and framing conspire to delve deeper, insidiously, than this assemblage of dialogue snippets could ever aspire. It is informative, no doubt, though when it is not traditionally so, Lo and Behold is nevertheless rich in alternative sources of information, be it in the sheer wealth of genius and invention on display (often presented without explanation, a technique which Herzog delights in here, and to unusually winning effect) or in what this flighty vagueness reveals about its creator. Lo and Behold somehow overcomes the hurdles it sets in its own way, due to the simple fact that it is the product of one of cinema's most idiosyncratic masters.