Cave of Forgotten Dreams

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Topics: Cave painting
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Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) is a documentary created by German director Werner Herzog. The film is shot in 3-D and takes place in the Chauvet Cave found in the south of France. The film speaks of the earliest known cave paintings, as well as other evidence of Paleolithic life. Known to create perplexing and extremely pensive documentaries, Herzog takes his audience on a journey never before seen using 3-D. He transforms what he sees into his own personal view. His way of seeing is unique and together with the 3-D imaging is quit a treat to watch. The film starts with the entering of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc in southern France. With the permission of the French Ministry of Culture, Herzog is granted access to film inside the Chauvet cave, an ancient cave holding some of the oldest paintings known to mankind. After receiving permission Herzog and his team enter the cave, making him the lone filmmaker ever to be approved for such a request. Inside the cave Herzog and his team come across the drawings, which are more than 32,000 years old. Throughout the documentary we learn that an avalanche sealed off the cave's entry during the Ice Age. The avalanche helped conserve many of the paintings and most are almost perfectly preserved. The cave walls are covered with drawings of horses, bears, bison, and rhinos. Many of these drawing are unique and interesting because they contain species of animals, which are now extinct.

One of the most interesting aspects of this film is its use of 3-D imaging. Herzog, known for his old school cinema initially never had attentions on using 3-D for this film, considering it as a publicity stunt for commercial cinema. Herzog's choice to use 3-D came after he viewed the cave and determined it was necessary to film it in 3-D in order to capture the full effect of the cave drawings. Herzog commented in the movie that drawings seemed to play across the walls

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