Once again, Werner Herzog finds fascinating documentary subjects to which he can apply his plummy Teutonic-toned narration; this time around, he dives into a variety of subjects related to our now-perpetually-online world. Navigating his way from the birth of the Internet through topics ranging from cyber-bullying to online addiction to the threat of solar flares wiping out connectivity, Herzog drops a few gems the way only he can: describing the UCLA basement where the primitive ARPANET was formed with “the corridors here look repulsive;” expressing fascination with one gamer’s character of a “malevolent druid dwarf.” It’s all quite episodic, with some of Herzog’s interview subjects considerably more interesting than others, and perhaps he circles around too obviously to the loss of human contact endemic to modern society. But who else would know just how long to hold the bizarre image of one troubled family behind a table full of muffins, or give the same topic of cyber-warfare threats that drives Zero Days a much more intriguing human face? Life in the 21st century may be strange indeed, but Herzog is willing to find it both beautiful and repulsive.
Director: Werner Herzog
Producer: Rupert Maconick, Werner Herzog, Jim McNiel, Dave Arnold, Tennille Teague and David Moore