Screenshot of the CHIMP robot in 'Lo and Behold.'

When it comes to contemplating our technological evolution, only one filmmaker can do so with earnest curiosity and dry, philosophical wit: Werner Herzog. The renowned German director, whose previous works include Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams, focused on the Pittsburgh tech scene for his latest film Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, a documentary that examines the past, present and future of the internet. Now the film has received a new trailer and release dates, two of which are set for local theaters.

During production, Herzog and his crew visited Pittsburgh to capture Carnegie Mellon University projects in action. The film features the four-limbed CHIMP robot at the National Robotics Engineering Center and a robot soccer team developed to defeat FIFA world champions. He also conducted on-camera interviews with various CMU faculty and staff members.

Werner Herzog (tan jacket) at the National Robotics Engineering Center. Photo by Byron Spice.
Werner Herzog (tan jacket) at the National Robotics Engineering Center. Photo by Byron Spice.

Produced by the service assurance and cybersecurity company NetScout, Lo and Behold also shows Herzog speaking with experts such as PayPal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, Internet Protocol inventor Bob Kahn and hacker Kevin Mitnick, as well as people struggling to live offline in an increasingly connected world.

The film premiered last January at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired for distribution by Magnolia Pictures.

The latest trailer (the first one hit last January) contains footage of two chosen CMU subjects, brain researcher Marcel Just and Joydeep Biswas, a former Computer Science Department post-doctoral researcher behind the robot soccer team.

See the trailer and official synopsis courtesy of Magnolia Pictures below.


In LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD, the Oscar-nominated Herzog chronicles the virtual world from its origins to its outermost reaches, exploring the digital landscape with the same curiosity and imagination he previously trained on earthly destinations as disparate as the Amazon, the Sahara, the South Pole and the Australian outback. Herzog leads viewers on a journey through a series of provocative conversations that reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works—from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships.

Lo and Behold will open at the Regent Square Theater on August 19, 2016. The film will also screen at Row House Cinema beginning September 16, 2016.

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.