Werner Herzog is a wizard at conjuring unforgettable visions, from the ship dragged over the mountain in Fitzcarraldo to the Antarctic landscape in Encounters at the End of the World. Now he brings us the earliest known visions of mankind: the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave art of southern France, created more than thirty thousand years ago. By comparison, the famous cave art of Lascaux is roughly half as old. Since Chauvet’s discovery in 1994, access has been extremely restricted due to concerns that overexposure, even to human breath, could damage the priceless drawings. Only a small number of researchers have ever seen the art in person.
Herzog gained extraordinary permission to film the caves using lights that emit no heat. But Herzog being Herzog, this is no simple act of documentation. He initially resisted shooting in 3D, then embraced the process, and now it’s hard to imagine the film any other way. Just as Lascaux left Picasso in awe, the works at Chauvet are breathtaking in their artistry. The 3D format proves essential in communicating the contoured surfaces on which the charcoal figures are drawn. Beyond the walls, Herzog uses 3D to render the cave’s stalagmites like a crystal cathedral and to capture stunning aerial shots of the nearby Pont-d’Arc natural bridge. His probing questions for the cave specialists also plunge deep; for instance: “What constitutes humanness?”
In an essay titled “Why I Hate 3-D (And You Should Too),” the critic Roger Ebert wrote that he could only be reconciled to the format by a filmmaker like Herzog. Cave of Forgotten Dreams promises to both open and blow the minds of similar skeptics.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams was triggered by an article in The New Yorker by Judith Thurman, who tried to gain access to the Chauvet caves and finally wrote her piece based on photos and interviews. I recently joined Thurman at a screening for her first experience of Chauvet in 3D. Her response when the lights came up: “It’s a miracle.” –TIFF
One of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema and one of the most extreme personalities in film, Werner Herzog quickly gained recognition not only for creating some of the most fantastic narratives in the Film history, but for pushing himself and his crew to absurd and unprecedented lengths, again and again, in order to achieve the effects he demanded. Born Werner Stipetic in Munich on September 5, 1942, Herzog came of age in Sachrang, Bavaria, amid extreme poverty and destitution. After Herzog turned seventeen, a German film producer optioned one of his screenplays, then promptly destroyed the contract when he discovered the author’s age. Circa 1962, 20-year-old Herzog enrolled in the University of Munich as a history and literature student, and produced his first motion picture, the twelve minute Herakles, his second short Game in the Sand, and his third, the pacifist tract The Unprecedented Defense of Fortress Deutschkreuz.In 1963, he established his own production… read more
depressing to see, that prehistoric men 35.000 years ago could better draw on curved stone walls than I can do on paper
A way to connect with those who lived before us through space and time. Maybe a little pretentious but thats what I felt when I saw this film.
One of those films which don't impress, but rather haunt you. If you're looking for a story or a lesson, you'll be disappointed. The thing is, to get anything from this movie, you have to look actively and process things for yourself. Otherwise, this might be a waste of time. Which is sad. Come to think of it, more likely is your life a waste of time and this movie just the realization.
Also: Adam Curtis on Dead of Night, life, the universe and everything. And more.
Runner-Up: The Tree of Life, for which Terrence Malick wins Best Director.
Best Film, Director and Use of Music. The Tree of Life scores Cinematography and, at least in part, Breakthrough Performer.
There was a lot of confusion following last year’s announcement that Werner Herzog would be filming his next documentary subject in 3D
"Apples and oranges" was my off-the-cuff reply to a critic I admire as we rose from our seats following a screening of Werner Herzog's Cave
0639 Caves of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog, USA) If you’ve been waiting for a truly creative, for a truly auteur use
"Cave of Forgotten Dreams looks at the marvels inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, a setting nature preserved so perfectly that
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (2010) by Werner Herzog is surely the most high-profile film by the most recognized director in the festival program. Because the film is two years old already it must have… read review
Unique chance to see this most ancient of art forms from our human past. This is a film well worth seeing in 3D because experiencing the curves of the cave walls and the depths of the caverns makes… read review
“This is the first time I’ve seen a movie that aims to use 3D as… read review