Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

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."
Thom Powers

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.

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?"


  1. Cool - I'll have to check that movie out.
    By the way, if you get the chance, could you visit my blog, and tell me (post a comment) if you can see the videos I've posted (2 cartoons, and 2 Warrant music videos) - people are having trouble seeing them, for some reason, and I'm trying to figure out why.
    Thanks !


Post a Comment

Popular Posts