Mitnick In The News
?LO AND BEHOLD?: WERNER HERZOG TACKLES THE INTERNET
Aug 19, 2016 - LEONARD MALTIN, by Leonard Maltin
We all live with the Internet, whether we want to or not. Our lives have been forever altered by connectivity. Werner Herzog is not an active user of the ‘net, but he is a man of boundless intellectual curiosity. In his latest documentary he takes a wide-ranging look at the origins, goals, dangers, roadblocks and possibilities of the Internet.
To trace this history and predict the future he has sought out pioneers, inventors, scientists, dreamers, and even a few quacks (albeit articulate ones) for a series of talking-head-style interviews. Herzog doesn’t appear onscreen but his presence is always felt and sometimes heard off-camera. By acting as the audience’s ombudsman we get the kind of answers we seek and deserve about this all-encompassing presence in our lives.
Lo and Behold is not a highly cinematic endeavor but it is utterly compelling. Over the course of ten segments, or chapters, Herzog zigzags from robotic soccer players to a human community that lives completely off the grid. His subjects are varied and unexpected but they all express themselves quite well. I was unfamiliar with Kevin Mitnick, the “king” of hackers, but he is every bit as interesting as Elon Musk.
Herzog has a habit of lingering on their faces after they have completed their statements for an extra beat or two. These moments can be awkward, revealing, or simply odd, but they mark this as the work of Werner Herzog and not a robotic editor. He finds fascination in the ordinary as well as the exceptional; that’s what makes him an exceptional documentarian.
Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, now in its third edition, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies. His books include The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He holds court at leonardmaltin.com.