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Review: Werner Herzog’s ‘Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World' Questions the Future.

By Flora  /  31 Aug 2016 (Wednesday)

The highly raved documentary by celebrated filmmaker, Werner Herzog, explores the reveries of the connect world in the Internet era and how the internet revolution is changing society. The film makes its debut at the ArtScience Museum, as part of ArtScience on Screen, the museum’s film programme, which explores art, science and technology through moving image and film. 

We know how the internet has changed and altered our lives tremendously, being the by-product of this genius invention that was created many years ago. But as far as filmmaker Werner Herzog’s documentary, ’Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World’ go, he explores, scrutinises and questions both the limits of the World Wide Web; as well as its endless opportunities that it brings to mankind. 

“Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World” Screening
  • Sept: 3-5, 9-12, 17-20, 23, 25-27, 30
  • Oct: 1-2, 7-9, 14, 16-20, 23, 25-27, 30
  • Nov: 1-8
Timings: 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm
Duration: 98 mins
Venue: Level 4, Expression Gallery, ArtScience Museum (Nearest MRT Station: Bayfront)
Ticketing Price: Free admission (Register in the lobby for entrance)

(Find out more!)

Photo Credit: ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

Split into 10 chapters, each like sections of a book, a short heading introduces the coming 10-15mins clip of various topics, ranging from “The End of the Net” to “The Dark Side”. The maestro starts off the documentary with the beginning of the Internet era, presenting the first computer to mankind. Thereafter, he burrows deep into the nuances of there Internet era, constantly questioning its glory, interconnectedness and of course, its adverse side of this technology. 

Without being too biased on the downsides, Herzog looks at it from a bird’s-eye-view perspective, as if he’s a tourist on a journey to seek answers from experts, speculating on the possible outcomes from the advancement of the internet. 

There are a few chapters that left a deep impression, especially the one where a family talks about their deceased daughter, of how a picture of the victim’s decapitated body was widely circulated on the internet where trolls even tormented her family by emailing them the photos with cynical captions. The parents are reduced to martyrs of this sick acts, cutting off from the online world altogether. Apart from being horrified by the repercussions, they are furious at the lack of regulations to police these anonymous internet trolls. Are there really no concrete laws to prosecute the ‘devils’ (the mother calls them) behind a screen?

Photo Credit: ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

After a few segments, Herzog continues with interviews from scientists, neurosurgeons, a renowned hacker, Kevin Mitnick, and even inventor Elon Musk. He poses pretty perplexing questions that even the brainy experts couldn’t give a direct answer - questioning them about the far-fetched possibilities that one day may become a reality existing in our human world. He then delves into how the brain could possible pick up waves from another person without being connected physically; meaning, if telepathic realism be only a matter of time. 

As an audience who is also a consumer and contributor to this ever-changing world of technology and science, suddenly you become more aware of the adversities and even the potentiality of how far this electronic macrocosm will go. The uncertainty is also what makes the documentary appealing; while these conjectures seem too farfetched, there’s a certain unspoken agreement that mankind are not too far away from achieving these dreams.

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