Werner Herzog directed this “Don’t Text While Driving” PSA for AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, and it’s a bit disappointing if you were hoping for some Herzoggery. It’s an effective ad, depicting the mother of a young boy named Xzavier, who’s now in a wheelchair and on a respirator after getting hit by a girl who didn’t see him in the street because she was texting. Wait, are we sure texting is the problem, or is it women drivers? I think we need a control group. I kid, ladies, I kid.
Point being, it’s an effective commercial, but it doesn’t have any of the classic Herzog documentary hallmarks that we’ve come to expect. Über bleak voiceover, unpredictable digressions, bizarre interview questions… I miss that special Herzog touch. In fact I’ve take the liberty of writing some Herzog voiceover lines that would help Herzog this piece up a bit:
“Oont now, Eeegzavyah eest staring eento za Abyss zat face uz all, ze eenewitabeelity uff black hole suns oont leequifying ice capz, arrogant zo-called ‘ceewilization’ gradually being aspheexiated by za cold fists uff nature. Eez beautiful.”
“Een za time it take Eegzavyah to draw one breasse from za reschpirator, sree hundred eendeegenous languages vill be forevah loscht to eestory.”
“I myzelf lairned to drive from a Bavarian domeenatrix named Mateelda. Za roads vere rough, za knife sharp, za deescipline harsh, oont I assure you, texting never entered zee equation.”
“Tell me about an encounter viss a squirrel.”
“For za true artist, it take seengle-minded focus een order to arrive at zee destination. Nuzzink can deestract from zeess goal. Za poet must never look away. You must neva, eva, text vilst driveenk. I am Verner Ertzog, oont I approve zeess message.”