Film Review of Werner Herzog’s documentary film,
From One Second To the Next
“If that’s the way it’s going to be, I don’t want to be here.”
Was Alvin Toffler’s mother right?
Up until 1983, landline phones ruled. Cell/car phones for the public were developed so that people could talk while they drove. What were they thinking? The first car phones were bulky, inconvenient and expensive, around $3,000. They had to be installed in the car, which among other things involved drilling a hole in the roof of the car for the antennae. AT&T and Bell Labs had developed cellular technology but considered mobile phones a niche market. Ameritech and Motorola ran with the idea. Soon the phones were independent of the cars. They were called ‘bricks’ because they were large and bulky; they looked like a walkie-talkie. Because they were expensive and therefore exclusive, having one became a status symbol. So much so that people made their own ‘phones’ from grey cardboard boxes and drove around talking to this empty box because it looked as though they had one of those ‘bricks’. And here we are now. Cell phones are ubiquitous.
With every new technology comes a responsibility to use it correctly.
Film auteur Werner Herzog has long been known for directing films that show people at psychological extremes. He also likes to film images and situations that have never been filmed before (or very rarely). In one film, all the actors were hypnotized. In another, he filmed on the side of an active volcano (about to erupt). When he filmed the story of a man who used to live with bears in Alaska until he was eaten by a bear, Herzog used the actual footage the man (Timothy Treadwell) had used to document his frolicking with bears and the actual audio of Treadwell and his girlfriend being eaten by a bear.
However, his film From One Second to the Next is a short documentary about the consequences of texting while driving.
From One Second To the Next
Write a short essay and discuss your interpretation of the film.
Some points to consider – Almost all documentaries have a point of view therefore they are not completely objective. What is Herzog’s point of view? What was your initial reaction to the film? Do you think this film was successful in getting Herzog’s point of view across? What can be done about texting and driving? What was the best medium for Herzog to release this short film – the internet, regular movie theater, a movie theater such as Landmark, or on TV, such as PBS or as part of a newsmagazine program? If you were to direct and produce a documentary film on texting and driving how would you have presented it?
Your essay does not have to be dissertation length, a few paragraphs is fine. And I do not expect you to be a professional film critic. However, think about the film and give meaningful answers. Please proofread your work before submitting it – correct grammar and spelling count.
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