Cave Of Forgotten Dreams

  • Year:2010
  • Rating:G
  • Director:Werner Herzog
  • Cast:Dominique Baffier, Jean Clottes, Werner Herzog
  • Release Date:September 22, 2011
  • Distributor:Rialto
  • Running time:90 minutes
  • Film Worth:$16.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Making superb use of the 3-D, and marked by Werner Herzog’s idiosyncratic sensibilities, this contains enough captivating moments to make it a must-see.

2019edeab49220f64c51.jpg

Every film by the veteran German director Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath Of God, Grizzly Man, Encounters At The End Of The World) is quite different, yet they're all unmistakeably his. This one is a documentary about the cave art at Chauvet-Pont-D'Arc in Southern France. Only discovered in 1994 - and generally seen since only by archaeologists, palaeontologists and the like - these are quite simply the oldest known paintings in the world. They're 32,000-years-old, and yet are so pristine that they've been mistaken for recent forgeries. In a project of logistical brilliance, Herzog and his crew have recorded them on film, and in 3-D. This is, for once, no mere gimmick, but the ideal way of showing them in all their glory, and of reflecting the way that they play with the cave-wall surfaces which form their "canvasses."

Most of these figures are of animals, many now long-since extinct - mammoths, European lions, cave bears - while others never did exist, such as an ambiguous Minotaur figure. Astonishingly enough, some feature a kind of "proto-cinematic" illusion of movement: witness the eight-legged bison. These are extraordinary treasures, about which a procession of scientists and other experts give their personal perspective. Some of them, it must be said, come across as unintentionally funny or nerdy. And there is a point where the film threatens to become a rather dry and academic lecture.

Then, just when it seems that Herzog might be getting a bit linear and less idiosyncratic in his old age, the film takes a wild lurch to encompass something about mutant albino crocodiles and nuclear reactors. Somehow, in context, it's just about pertinent. So, believe it or not, is a brief film clip of Fred Astaire dancing to his own shadow. Cave Of Forgotten Dreams is only occasionally as spellbinding as it should be, but it would be a mistake to miss it.

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

‘Looking For Grace’ Selected For Official Competition In Venice
‘Looking For Grace’ Selected For Official Competition In Venice

Sue Brooks' new film will enjoy its world premiere at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival.

Revisiting The Golden Age
Revisiting The Golden Age

Adrian Wootton is returning to the Melbourne International Film Festival for another series of his acclaimed film talks, and this year he’s focusing on four legends from the Hollywood Golden Age. Come get educated!

Aussie Talent at TIFF
Aussie Talent at TIFF

Australia is well represented at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival with ‘The Dressmaker’ and ‘The Daughter’ both selected to screen.

Getting Personal
Getting Personal

With no formal filmmaking skills, Rhiannon Bannenberg mined her own life to write, direct and shoot her debut feature, ‘Ambrosia’, which will screen in selected cinemas across the country.