Werner Herzog made a terrifying PSA about texting while driving

 

The latest from German filmmaker Werner Herzog is a PSA warning against texting while driving. Credit: Getty Images
The latest from German filmmaker Werner Herzog is a PSA warning against texting while driving.
Credit: Getty Images

Never one to ooze predictability, filmmaker — and “Jack Reacher” action baddie — Werner Herzog has released his latest film, which just happens to be an epic PSA warning against the dangers of texting while driving. If this seems like the latest eccentric move by a man who’s already allegedly pulled a gun on actor Klaus Kinski, made a film on an island with a volcano that almost exploded, got shot with an “insignificant bullet” during an interview and rescued Joaquin Phoenix from a car crash, then maybe you’re right. But it’s entirely sincere, and entirely terrifying.

Told in the somber but distanced manner of his death row portrait, “Into the Abyss,” “From One Second to the Next” is a 35-minute exploration of a handful of stories of car accidents caused by drivers whose eyes were on their phones, not the road. Each story is horrific, especially because Herzog doesn’t rush through them but take his time, listening to every detail and showing every last ounce of remorse and sadness.

It is, of course, still a PSA, and even ends with the subjects telling viewers, straight-up, to please not text and drive. But it’s not too much of a stretch to see how it fits in with Herzog’s other work, as well as his worldview. The focus isn’t simply on the tragic accidents. The short also ruminates on the horrors of chance. People become victims or accidental murderers out of the blue. One victim, who survived but experienced debilitating trauma, speaks of not even remembering the accident — of going blank and waking up in the hospital. Perpetrators regret one second of stupidity, even if it was something they did all the time. Life can change rapidly, with no warning. Awful things can happen to good people, or good people can do awful things.

There is no maliciousness in the film, and even — as in “Into the Abyss” — a rather staggering, even heartwarming, degree of forgiveness. Herzog treats the victims and their assailants equally, and gives the sense of the heaviness of their burdens, be they mourning the dead or also mourning their foolish actions. All PSAs should be this terrifying. (You will want to promise Werner Herzog personally to never text and drive.) But not all PSAs are this worldly and sage.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.