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Cave of Forgotten Dreams

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, a breathtaking new documentary from the incomparable Werner Herzog (Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man), follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. One of the most successful documentaries of all time, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS is an unforgettable cinematic experience that provides a unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back to human hands over 30,000 years ago — almost twice as old as any previous discovery.

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  1. Bob Drake "BobDrake" says

    Creative use of 3D I happen to like 3D in the theater and at home, so I want to speak to that aspect of this film.Mr. Herzog saw the potential for 3D when he first visited the cave. He had to create his own, collapsible 3D equipment to fit through the hermetically sealed cave door, and it had to be manually adjusted for parallax depending on the distance to the image being filmed because access is via a walkway from which they could not stray. On the second visit they could use the knowledge from the first to gauge the length of extensions required to see images on the back side of pendant rocks and protrusions.The end result is a 3D feast. The cave painters used the 3D shape of the rocks in the cave to give depth to their paintings. In one case the face of a ox is on one face of a rock and the flank of the beast corresponds to a bulge in the side of that same rock, around the corner, much as if you were viewing the animal. While the film and the paintings can be appreciated in 2D, the true artistry of the ancient painters can really only be appreciated in 3D, and Mr. Herzog was right to endure the extra hardship of lugging the 3D camera through the cave.Bravo.

  2. DJ Joe Sixpack says

    A soulful film, a deep experience, ——————————————–“The Cave Of Forgotten Dreams”(Directed by Werner Herzog, 2011)——————————————–Given unprecedented access to the Chauvet Cave, a vast archeological repository located in the south of France, legendary director Werner Herzog and a minimal crew of four crawl through tunnels and balance on delicate metal catwalks, filming the extraordinary and breathtaking cave paintings found within. Herzog designed a lightweight, portable 3D camera, small enough to be brought into the cavern, so that he could capture the ways in which the ancient artists of Chauvet used the natural contours of the cave walls to enhance their artwork. Although often rough technically, it is the most meaningful use of 3D cinematography I have ever seen, placing viewers inside the space of the cave in a way that seems magical and unreal.The Chauvet cave paintings were made over 30,000 years ago, depicting predatory animals such as bears and lions, as well as bison, rhinos, mammoths and perhaps most striking of all, a wall of beautifully rendered horses. The spiritual and artistic presence of these paintings is almost overwhelming, embued with primal, primordial history and an astonishing technical and aesthetic command: these pictures are both evocative and beautiful. Herzog approaches them reverently, and delights in their mystery, often shooting them in half-shadow or using moving, flickering light to suggest the rude torches used by their creators as well as the complete, total darkness that shrouded these powerful pictures for untold millennia. Throughout the film he intones in a soft European murmur, musing about the nature of human consciousness and the relationship of this ancient artwork to our own modern sensibilities: how much of the aesthetic and world view of this primitive culture do we carry about with us today? Some viewers may find the intellectualism and pretensions hard to take (as well as the often intrusive but oddly affecting score…) yet it is hard to deny the power of the subject.You or I will never be able to go inside these caves — they are closely guarded by the French government — but in Herzog’s film we can become immersed in them. Leaving the theater, walking in sunshine or under electric lights, you may marvel at the wonders that thirty thousand years of human life have brought – the works of stone and steel, plastic and glass, the layer upon layer of habitation and roads, the planes in the sky and the optical magic that brings art to life in films such as this. And, like Herzog and his crew, you may find yourself swept up by the connections we still have to the stunning pictures that lay hidden inside a dark cave for far more time than civilization itself… it is truly miraculous.A highly recommended, deeply moving film – for the full effect see it in the theaters, if you can. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)

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