Friday, August 02, 2013

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Written, directed, and narrated by Werner Herzog, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a documentary about Herzog’s explorations into the Chauvet Caves in France that features some of the earlier artwork known to mankind. The film explores into the early world of civilization to trace back into the early years of man. The result is a fascinating yet extraordinary film from Werner Herzog.

In 1994, a man named Jean-Marie Chauvet along with two other people found a cave in the south of France near the Vallon-Pont-d’Arc that features some of the earliest artwork of mankind. Years later, Werner Herzog with a small film crew and a group consisting of archeologists, art historians, scientists, and geologists take a journey into the cave in late spring of 2010 under the permission of the French Minister of Culture. There, Herzog and this group explore the cave with its many drawings and features including animal tracks on its fragile grounds and other places but they couldn’t touch any of the features as they’re walking on very narrow, metallic platforms.

The film has Herzog interviewing many scientists, archeologists, artists, and such as they give their own theories about the cave and the paintings that is featured while Herzog through his own narration gives his own thoughts to the surroundings. With his cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger, sound recorder Eric Spritzer-Marlyn, and a production assistant, Herzog and his crew trek through the caves to see this artwork where they shoot in the cave for four hours in six days as the cave also include carbon dioxide and radon inside that is in near-toxic levels. Half of the film is set outside of the caves where some artifacts are revealed about the earliest findings in human history as well as an idea of how they lived.

Through the use of small digital cameras, Herzog, Zeitlinger, and the rest of the crew are able to get a nice look of the caves while using sticks to carry the camera to capture a few things that were unreachable. With the editing of Joe Bini and Maya Hawke, Herzog is able to create montages to showcase the numerous kinds of art work that is present as well as the atmosphere of the caves when it is presented with just silence. With the music of Ernst Reijseger that is filled with somber string arrangements and some choral music, it plays to that sense of mysticism inside the caves.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a phenomenal documentary by Werner Herzog. The film is definitely one of the most intriguing portraits about a part of the world that showcases many of the wonders of the world as well as some of the earliest images of art made by humanity. In the end, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a remarkable film from Werner Herzog.

Werner Herzog Films: Feature Films: (Signs of Life) - (Even the Dwarfs Started Small) - (Fatana Morgana) - Aguirre, the Wrath of God - (The Enigma of Kasper Hauer) - (Heart of Glass) - Stroszek - Nosferatu the Vampire - Woyzeck - Fitzcarraldo - (Where the Green Ants Dream) - Cobra Verde - (Scream of Stone) - (Lessons of Darkness) - (Invincible (2001 film)) - (The Wild Blue Yonder) - Rescue Dawn - (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans) - (My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?) - Queen of the Desert

Documentaries: (The Flying Doctors of East Africa) - (Handicapped Future) - (Land of Silence and Darkness) - (The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner) - (How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck) - (La Soufrière) - (Huie's Sermon) - (God's Angry Man) - (Ballad of the Little Soldier) - (The Dark Glow of the Mountains) - (Wodaabe – Herdsmen of the Sun) - (Echoes from a Somber Empire) - (Jag Mandir) - (Bells from the Deep) - (The Transformation of the World into Music) - (Death for Five Voices) - (Little Dieter Needs to Fly) - My Best Fiend - (Wings of Hope) - (Pilgrimage) - (Ten Thousand Years Older) - (Wheel of Time) - (The White Diamond) - Grizzly Man - Encounters at the End of the World - (Into the Abyss) - (On Death Row) - From One Second to the Next

© thevoid99 2013

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