August 9, 2013

"It's just nuts. It's crazy." Why are you texting and driving?

Please watch this half-hour documentary. Made by the great film director Werner Herzog:

20 comments:

DAN said...

Hard to watch. If I ran the world, the first day of school this year at every school from K through 12 would begin with an assembly and this film. Look at the phone in your hand and imagine that it is a gun.

Jube said...

Meanwhile, every driver in California with a cell phone got a blaring alarm along with a text message about an amber alert.

Of course, besides the possibility of distraction due to the unexpected noise, the only people who were in position to ID the car were drivers... who had read a text while driving.

Is it against state law to read a text from the state?

Jube said...

Meanwhile, every driver in California with a cell phone got a blaring alarm along with a text message about an amber alert.

Of course, besides the possibility of distraction due to the unexpected noise, the only people who were in position to ID the car were drivers... who had read a text while driving.

Is it against state law to read a text from the state?

Jube said...

Meanwhile, every driver in California with a cell phone got a blaring alarm along with a text message about an amber alert.

Of course, besides the possibility of distraction due to the unexpected noise, the only people who were in position to ID the car were drivers... who had read a text while driving.

Is it against state law to read a text from the state?

n.n said...

I wish we would focus on the direct cause: distraction, rather than on contributing causes: texting, friends, drugs, etc. The fact that we need to address every contributing factor or exception separately is indicative that our education system, including: schools, parents, etc., has failed to promote basic development of fundamental skills.

Freddy Hill said...

Sorry, I never liked Herzog. He always seemed a manipulator of emotions to me.

Surely the above sounds silly. Artists manipulate emotions, that's what they do.

But there is a fakeness in Herzog's manipulation that raises my hackles. He goes so far over the edge that you actually start disliking the victims (and feel guilty about it). Herzog's Aguirre The Wrath of God had plenty of this stuff, but this video truly jumps the shark.

tds said...

Some people really hate Darwin sorting skilled from unskilled. Shouldn't effort to stop natural selection be considered crime against the environment? Shouldn't EPA intervene banning this movie?

acm said...

Tds, watch the video. It documents the unskilled/stupid people who thought they could text and drive plowing into people who weren't noticeably unskilled, like an elementary-age little boy who did well in school, and an Amish family. It's not "save your own ass by driving safely".

robinintn said...

Also meanwhile in California, it's illegal to talk on a phone and drive, as my daughter discovered 30 seconds after crossing the state line. Now she, along with most of the people she's acquainted with, is careful to ONLY text and drive.

MadisonMan said...

How did the women only get $50K from the kid's insurance?

I hope there is ongoing litigation. Maybe that's why she was counseled not to talk to the film maker.

Robin said...

That video was powerful. I'm usually too impatient to watch a 30 minute video when I'm running through my daily website visits--but I'm so glad I watched this one. It reminds me again, there are no do-overs. Time only moves forward and no matter how badly you want the opportunity to go back and change what has happened--you can't.

CatherineM said...

I don't understand the negative comments here.

My parents were driving and hit from behind by a texting man. He told them, sorry, I didn't see you, I was texting. Lucky for my folks they were fine.

I got into a big argument with a friend. Her phone buzzed and she immediately took it out to see. I grabbed it from her and said I will read it, you're driving. She said she could handle it and I said really? Yesterday driving behind you I knew every time you are driving because you were swerving between lanes. You looked drunk. At that point, I read the text. It said, "I thought I saw you at the store, but it was someone else. LOL!" It can wait. Her other excuse as it is with everything, "But I have kids, what if it's them?" I said then pull over.

Also, have you noticed at stop lights how long it takes for people to get going? They are texting or reading their twitter. Ridiculous.

Mark said...

MadisonMan, the most likely reason why she only got $50k from the young man's insurance is that was the cap on his bodily injury liability insurance.

Eustace Chilke said...

Anyone would agree to put the phone down and drive after watching that.

If I'm supposed to go further and get on board with new penalties and enforcement efforts, forget it. We've been played from every angle with every con from safety alarmism to national security to economic justice to you name it.

I prefer my chances with a reckless driver any day to letting a technocrat with a solution off the leash. these days I see nearly every modern problem the same way. Whatever else happens, save me first from authority.

Lou said...

I really need to stop textng and driving. Thank you for posting this.

Lou

Mark Trade said...

During the credits I imagined representatives from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile sitting together around a table discussing how they needed to make a public service film about texting and driving, and someone saying , "let's get Werner Herzog."

stlcdr said...

During the credits I imagined representatives from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile sitting together around a table discussing how they needed to make a public service film about texting and driving, and someone saying , "let's get Werner Herzog."

In that vein, I can imagine that it will be the cell phone companies that will subsequently to be to blame for these deaths, that have occurred in the past, continue to occur, and will occur in the future - regardless of laws.

Meanwhile, what really is the 'penalty' for texting and driving? What should the penalty be, from a violation of law, aspect?

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

One thing about this documentary that shows what a true artist Herzog is, is that it doesn't use any stylistic frills. He just puts the camera in front of his people and lets them talk. A lesser filmmaker would have used quick-cutting, a music soundtrack, "interesting" camera angles and lenses, etc. Herzog knows where the power of the story lies. He could care less about showing off his technique.
If you have any doubts about Herzog as a person, watch the animated nonfiction video about how he saved Joaquin Phoenix from a car wreck. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/the-daily-need/phoenix-is-still-here-after-car-wreck/3618/

Mark Trade said...

stlcdr, it sounds like recklessness to me. We already have laws that in general prohibit dangerous behavior that the perpetrator should have recognized as dangerous (negligence) or recognized the risk involved and consciously chose to disregard it (recklessness). I am not convinced there needs to be special category for texting.

I was surprised to learn within the past year that there are even people who say we should abolish drunk driving laws, because they are superfluous. (Link to John Stossel interview video). I think they may have a point. Films like Herzog's, then, serve to educate potential members of a jury of the risk that should have been known and not disregarded, even if they don't own a phone or never enter a car.

--

Richard Lawrence Cohen, I think Herzog demonstrates a very good knowledge of image composition as well as spatial/narrative composition. Immediately in the very first scene in Milwaukee, we first see the woman's hand from the perspective of the road, on the right side, where we would think the car that hit the child would be. Only afterward do we angle back to the road and later learn, with surprise, that was not the car's perspective--the car came from the other side of the road! And they say, really, the car came from all way over the there! One could make the "mistake" of seeing the opening shot as potentially their perspective as a driver--not as the victim--a mistake that Herzog corrects.

TML said...

This was quite moving. I saw that the credits listed Erik and LP from BBDO. We worked with them this month on an AT&T commercial. We frequently freelance for BBDO in NYC. Excellent project. Erik just told me via email that Herzog doesn't even have a rep. He took the project after a friend of a friend shared the idea with him. Amazing.