Geeky Cinephile Musings…
I don't pontificate, I blather.

I have been de-virginized by Werner Herzog.

Scoff if you will, but I have never seen a 3-D film.

So, when my good friend, Tracy, invited me to watch Herzog’s new documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3D, I jumped at the chance.  After all, how many people get their cherries popped by Werner Herzog?

(Shudder)

The cave in question is the Chauvet Pont d’Arc Cave, located in the Ardèche area of southern France, about 100 km south of Lyon.  On December 18, 1994 Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel, and Christian Hillaire, three speleologists, found a small air current emanating from the side of a steep rock facing.  Knowing that this signifies the location of a cave, they entered and became the discoverers of an absolutely breathtaking array of cave drawings, some dating back as far as 32,000 years.  This is significant because previously, the oldest cave art dated back to only about half as old. 

Now, I ain’t no kinda art critic or nuthin’ (oh wait…), but I was floored by the technical skill these paintings exhibit.  When I think of cave drawings, I picture gigantic stick figures drawn on the wall, comprised of singular, thick lines, much like a five year old would draw a horsie.  Boy, was I off the mark.  These paintings show incredible detail, they play off the curves of the cave walls, they use the light from torches, combined with blurred legs on the animals to suggest movement–they’re flat out, knock-down, amazing.  And in 3-D….wow.

Herzog narrates the film with wry humor and awe.  There is also unquestionably Herzog quirkery going on (there’s a hilarious interview with a sommelier that ends rather abruptly), which provides a humorous break in between the silent moments where the camera is trailing over the paintings, and your jaw is trailing over your chest.

A couple of things to note.  The camera moved rather quickly at times, which gave my eyes a bit of a workout as they desperately tried to focus.  There is also some questioning of the dating of the artwork, which is a fact I only discovered on Wikipedia.  They seemed to have skipped that debate in the film, most likely because the film’s purpose (at least from the French government’s point of view) is to stir interest in the cave before the eventual opening of a tourist attraction a few miles away.

Overall, I’d say this was a great way to dive into the 3D waters for me, and Lord knows I love me some Werner. Mmmm… I’d give this a huge thumbs up recommendation, 3D or no.

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One Response to “I have been de-virginized by Werner Herzog.”

  1. I’ll see this when it hits my library. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a 3-D film. As to rock art or rock writing, just google image Thompson Wash or Sego Canyon [rock art of Utah is a hobby]. Then see the “documentary” Exit Through the Gift Shop.


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