Azure - - MEDIA SHELF - BY erin Don­nelly

Mag­no­lia Pic­tures (138 min­utes)

“Have the monks stopped med­i­tat­ing? They all seem to be tweet­ing,” muses film­maker Werner Her­zog, nar­rat­ing a shot of an orange-robed brother­hood gath­ered lake­side, pok­ing at their smart phones. The mo­ment il­lus­trates the grip of the In­ter­net, the fo­cus of this fea­ture doc­u­men­tary. A cast of com­puter sci­en­tists and such in­no­va­tors as Elon Musk takes us through the thrill of the first host-to-host com­mu­ni­ca­tion, be­fore spi­ralling into a dark­en­ing tale of man ver­sus ma­chine. In­ter­vie­wees share ideas on where the web could take us, from driver­less cars and ro­bot ser­vants to tele­pathic com­put­ers and pure chaos. As we con­tinue to build our lives around an In­ter­net of Things, de­sign­ing a world where even our stan­dard ap­pli­ances won’t work with­out web con­nec­tion, are we seal­ing our own fate? As Har­vard’s Jonathan Zit­train points out, even our food sup­plies de­pend on the net­work; new ef­fi­cien­cies have elim­i­nated ware­houses and the need for stor­age: “What is it they say? Civ­i­liza­tion is al­ways about four square meals a day from ut­ter ruin?”

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