Werner Herzog has always been a capable documentarian. His gentle, remote voice and strangely plodding pace through a variety of unconnected subjects makes for hypnotic viewing. Seeing any of his films is less like experiencing a core argument or narrative, as so many other documentaries are, and more like attending a museum on a particular range of topics. One is free to peruse, for an hour or two, the meandering thoughts of a series of experts and one curious German man.
Lo and Behold examines the internet in a series of acts. They range from the origins of the internet, the effects of anonymity on human behavior, and even the possible end of the Digital Age by catastrophic disaster. Each act feels like a short film on a single facet of the tangled web that is...well, the web.
And yet the singular experience from act to act stays the same. Interesting individuals offer their two cents, Werner asks them increasingly trying questions in that strange, half-fascinated, half-curious voice of his, and then the next act begins without a hint of warning. It is jarring and seamless, and my mind reels with each interview and each speculation.
Lo and Behold is not for everyone. And yet anyone can glean some enjoyment out of it. I will not recommend this documentary. I only hope that anyone reading this will have their curiosity piqued enough to fall down the rabbit hole on their own volition. And that is one thing I'm certain of...if you begin this film, you will finish it, even if you don't feel strongly about it as you watch. That is the mesmeric effect Herzog's films have.