by Dan Gibson
It would be fair to say, I think, that Werner Herzog has put together one of the most uncompromising careers in film history, alternating between fiction and documentaries, eating his shoe, etc. Last year, he released a television series in the UK looking at the stories behind several Americans on death row, but I don't suspect most people would have imagined his follow-up would be a film for AT&T discouraging people from texting while driving.
However, Herzog told AP that he didn't see any reason not to make the PSA:
"What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me. There's a completely new culture out there. I'm not a participant of texting and driving — or texting at all — but I see there's something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us...."It's very easy to reconcile that," said Herzog. "This has nothing to do with consumerism or being part of advertising products. This whole campaign is rather dissuading you from excessive use of a product. It's a campaign. We're not trying to sell anything to you. We're not trying to sell a mobile phone to you. We're trying to raise awareness."
And, unsurprisingly, the film still feels like a Herzog work, staring directly into the faces of the victims and the texters who caused the crashes, and it definitely makes the point AT&T intended. So, I guess it's a perfect use of Herzog's skills and experience.