With that unmistakable voice—and archival footage from the dawn of the Internet age—Werner Herzog introduces the first trailer for his Sundance world premiere documentary “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.” Of course, for the longtime investigator of human frailties in both fiction (“Aguirre, The Wrath of God,” “Fitzcarraldo”) and nonfiction (“Grizzly Man,” “Into the Abyss”), this is not only a tale of possibilities. It’s one of grave responsibilities, too.
With his familiar blend of interviews with iconoclastic figures and his own deeply philosophical commentary, Herzog continues to explore both the dark and bright sides of our need to connect, and of our periodic failure to do so. “Lo and Behold” is the filmmaker’s first documentary feature since 2011’s “Into the Abyss,” though he followed that film’s brutal examination of capital punishment with the TV docuseries “On Death Row” (2012-2013).
Coming on the heels of his narrative feature with Nicole Kidman, “Queen of the Desert,” which was very poorly received by critics when it premiered in Berlin last year, “Lo and Behold” is a chance for redemption—after all, it’s in nonfiction, including “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (2010), “Encounters at the End of the World” (2007), and “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” (1997) that Herzog’s made his most consistently striking work in the past two decades.
Next up for the still-prolific director are a pair of (literally) volcanic stories, one fiction (“Salt and Fire,” with Michael Shannon and Gael Garcia Bernal) and one nonfiction (“Into the Inferno,” picked up by Dogwoof out of Cannes last May).