Thursday, 13 October 2011

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: Movie Review

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: Movie Review

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Rating: 6/10
Cast: Werner Herzog, a select camera crew, cave paintings, bear skulls and stalactites
Director: Werner Herzog
Shot in 3D, this doco sees German director Herzog, along with a select camera crew, heading to France to document the marvels held by a French cave discovered in 1994.
The Chauvet Cave in the south of France is one of anthropological wonder given that inside it's decorated with wall paintings and carvings from some 30,000 years ago.
Herzog was given exclusive access to document the innermost sanctum of the cave by the French government.
Essentially this 3D film really thrives when it's inside the cave and the camera simply lingers on the shots of the paintings and the full enormity of what's within explodes within your mind.
Skulls of animals long since dead and footprints from creatures 30,000 years old litter the pictures and are simply mind blowing. The 3D gives the depth to the paintings and reveals just how astounding they are.
But then Herzog's dry voiceover takes over and pompous statements like "It's like a frozen flash in a moment of time" give this an air of stuffiness that to be honest, it could do without.
Interviews with scientists and enthusiasts add to the pretentiousness of the piece and detract from the simple fact that sometimes, a picture paints a thousand words.
Those images of rhinos, horses, bison and tigers, bumps and shapes of the walls show a world that is beyond our comprehension and understanding; and in some ways, Herzog's insistence on talking really does mean the film loses some of its impact.

At the end, a montage of paintings and snapshots flash up on screen, accompanied by music - and in that flash alone, the film speaks volumes - and much more than Herzog ever can - of its secrets from thousands of years ago.

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