CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
APRIL 22, 2012

Werner Herzog is an effective documentarian. If he is excited about a particular subject matter, he implores the audience to become excited about that subject. In one of his latest documentaries, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” he allows the audience to explore the Chauvet Cave in southern France with him. In this cave are paintings from over 30,000 years ago, drawn by neanderthals depicting the animals that existed at that time. If there was ever a window open to the evolution of human beings and the existence of certain species in the ice age, this cave is it. The fact that you can see Herzog in the caves throughout the film is a testament to how hands-on and incredibly passionate he is about his subjects.

Sealed off from the world for centuries, the preserved paintings in this cave look brand new, but carbon testing dates them to the time of cave lions and mammoths. Seeing these images that only a handful of people have seen firsthand is a truly awe-inspiring event. Though I witnessed Herzog’s film in 2D, I feel it would have been one of the more enjoyable 3D experiences. Listening to the experts talk about the paintings and seeing how scientists handle the information received from the caves makes this film both easily accessible for any viewer and highly informative, allowing one to take away knowledge of our history and the science behind it.

Herzog is one of the best documentary filmmakers alive today. His ability to take viewers to fantastic locations and offer grandiose depictions of these settings is unmatched by any of his peers. Although reminiscent of Discovery channel documentaries, Herzog can deliver his style and flair that makes his films more thought-provoking and contemplative rather than strictly informative pieces. One never knows where Herzog will go next but if it inspires anything like “Cave Of Forgotten Dreams,” count me in.

RELEASE DATE
April 29, 2011

DIRECTOR
Werner Herzog

WRITTEN BY
Werner Herzog

STUDIO
IFC Films
Sundance Selects

G

DOCUMENTARY
HISTORY

90 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Peter Zeitlinger

COMPOSER
Ernst Reijseger

EDITOR
Joe Bini
Maya Hawke

CAST
Werner Herzog
Jean Clottes
Julien Monney
Jean-Michel Geneste
Michel Philippe
Gilles Tosello
Carole Fritz
Dominique Baffier

PRODUCED BY
Erik Nelson
Adrienne Ciuffo
Dave Harding
Julian Hobbs
David McKillop

BUDGET
$40 million

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