Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

DVD - 2011
Average Rating:
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A breathtaking new documentary from the incomparable Werner Herzog, 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. An unforgettable cinematic experience that provides an 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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breemu
Jul 20, 2016

Absolutely fabulous cave drawings thought to be from the Cro-Magnon era. But only a handful of interesting insights from the "experts - in spite of all their face time. And the movie just goes on and on, even when there's nothing new to show or say, panning the camera over the same drawings again and again, listening to an "expert" drone on and on (interrupted only by often rather inane questions from Werner Herzog, who is trying, almost desperately, to get something, anything, that might be of interest to the viewers). I actually fell asleep at one point. Some really lame attempts to invent a little melodrama/hype things up with weird music/create an air of mystery just to fill the time and/or keep Werner Herzog talking. Definitely not his best film. Could have seen all the beautiful drawings (and the other things shown in the cave), and heard all the info in half the time (rather than this 90 minute pseudo-drama that felt like 3 hours).

c
CMLibrary_gjd_0
Jul 15, 2016

This movie was interesting; the caves are phenomenal, they really appear to have just been created. As I recall, one of the explorers mentions that they began to expect the artist to appear at any time. It does go on a little long; you should feel free to fast forward parts. A beatifically shot film. I'm now waiting on the Mark Knoplfer music CD about this cave.

1
1aa
Jul 02, 2016

A very slow and meditative film of the oldest and best preserved caves with painting in them. Odd and uncanny music accompanies the images. The bonus film is just about the music, in particular the cellist - a veritable Miles Davis (of the Bitches Brew era) - who can bring the most astonishing sounds and magical music from what I had always thought of as a bit of a dowdy instrument.

j
Janice21383
Jun 10, 2016

If you've ever wondered what a seemingly straightforward documentary about cave paintings would be like in the hands of an artistic director, wonder no more. I gave Cave the rating I did because I happen to like Werner Herzog's glum style -- think of a Germanic Eeyore. I mean, he starts the film with a pan over barren grape vines, that look like so many tortured crucifixes. However, it's understandable how viewers looking for context would be disappointed. I wanted to know why, though the paintings of animals are so realistic, even witty, human beings depicted are only hand prints or abstractions, like triangles. But this documentary is a moody reflection on the how the people who made these drawings are ultimately unknowable, no matter how many facts about how the paintings were made, etc., are piled on. Experts can guess, but let's face it, they're only guesses.

k
KennyBania
Feb 17, 2016

Typical Werner Herzog style. Arsty (=tedious), over dramatic and reflective for no value-added reason.
The caves were interesting in themselves despite Werner's ponderous style. The 90 minute movie felt like three hours. Stop talking Werner.... just show the caves! I wouldn't want to sit next to him on a plane, he'd probably bore me to death!

m
Malaxis
Feb 15, 2016

not the greatest production, but quite evocative

r
readyrisa
Jan 18, 2015

Fascinating.

p
pianoDan
Aug 26, 2014

I agree with a lot of the other comments. It was neat to see the cave paintings and some interviews. But it was quite redundant (Yup, I've seen those horses about 10 times already.) Also, the music was distracting, and the narrative was a bit too artsy. It says nothing about what materials might have been used to create the drawings.

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bookwormjeph
Nov 17, 2013

a beautifully filmed and narrated doco from Werner Herzog of a cave of art work, discovered in Southern France in 1994, more than 30,000 years old. Spellbinding it is, informative in a subtle way and inspiring.

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geomillar
Jan 26, 2013

Painful to watch? NONSENSE. It was a thorough insight into the lives of the earliest Europeans.

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PimaLib_WilliamB May 06, 2015

A cave in France filled with massive amounts of ancient rock art, and one man and his small film crew are granted brief access to see it. For a once in a lifetime chance to see these perfectly preserved drawings, this film spans the work, interpretations and stories.

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