Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS shows the dramatic results of Herzog’s exclusive access to the recently discovered Chauvet caves in the South of France, and their truly extraordinary cave paintings, dating back 32,000 years. 3.8 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Documentary
Director Werner Herzog
Cast Jean Clottes, Jean-Michel Geneste Werner Herzog
Studio Picturehouses
Release Date March 2011
Running Time 95 mins
 

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS shows the dramatic results of Herzog’s exclusive access to the recently discovered Chauvet caves in the South of France, and their truly extraordinary cave paintings, dating back 32,000 years.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

The images on the walls are overpowering. The horses look like early Blaue Reiter paintings... The film wouldn’t be Herzog if it wasn’t also a little batty. A smell expert is subpoenaed for olfactory comments on the cave, a parfumier with a prehistory hobby.

24/03/2011

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

This director has scored another remarkable success with this documentary, using 3D to accentuate the massive, sculptural forms revealed to his camera.

24/03/2011

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Time Out

Ben Walters

The lines used to make a horse, bear or panther are quite beautiful in themselves but their interaction with the three-dimensional surfaces on which they appear – the way a cove hides anxious prey or a bulging wall becomes a puffed-out chest – is crucial to conveying their power.

24/03/2011

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The Sunday Times

Waldemar Januszczak

On its technical merits alone, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a Hades of an achievement... Generally, the film is too busy recording the miraculous sights on offer in Chauvet to answer the really big question here: why did early humans make pictures in caves?

27/03/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

With limited time, a skeleton crew and an improvised lighting system – the technical restrictions imposed on account of atmospheric fragility are severe – Herzog superbly conveys (in 3D) the mystery and the majesty of these paintings, no primitive daubs, incidentally, but meticulous and artful in a way that conjures some Paleolithic Picasso to mind.

25/03/2011

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

Cinema is not merely visual, and it's curious to note how much is gained and lost in Herzog's use of sound. His wonderfully chewy voice, which suggests a kind of innocent but authoritative insanity, has mysterious catacombs of its own; his personality is so vast and enigmatic that his curiosity alone amplifies ours, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams would be poorer without his credulous commentary. The oppressive choral music is another matter.

24/03/2011

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Empire Magazine

Adam Smith

...an astonishing, mesmerising and at times unexpectedly moving film, Herzog making the complexities and difficulties of filming part of the subject, before, in a virtuoso sequence towards the end, conjuring the paintings into life. Using only the movement of a camera and two lights, he produces images more other-worldly and affecting than anything in Inception.

27/03/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Sukhdev Sandhu

The film is rich in stern awe and disciplined wonder. Herzog’s voice – haunted, almost overwrought – is irresistible as it delivers poetic and maxim-like speculations every other sentence. He talks to a unicyclist-turned-researcher and an experimental archaeologist who dresses in reindeer fur and plays The Star-Spangled Banner on a flute.

25/03/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

There's less of Herzog here than in many of his documentaries – this is a serviceably engrossing study of a fascinating subject, rather than a full-blown visionary essay.

27/03/2011

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Variety

Justin Chang

...both meditative and amusingly digressive in the helmer's inimitable fashion...

14/09/2010

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Total Film

Ellen E Jones

After the millionth lingering shot of a cave wall, you may be less enthused, but this is still a worthwhile trip.

14/03/2011

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The Times

Wendy Ide

If the hand-held camerawork combined with 3-D can be a tad nausea-inducing, the laconic eccentricity of Herzog’s voiceover more than makes up for it. That said, the material feels a little overextended when stretched out to feature length.

25/03/2011

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The Observer

Philip French

There is a price to be paid for the experience of seeing the pictures in this film. We have to put up with Herzog's heavy-breathing excitement, his wild conjecture and hyperbole, his choice of music upping the ante on the numinous, and his fey playfulness... Sometimes it works; often it merely serves to annoy.

27/03/2011

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

The trouble is, there aren’t that many paintings, so there’s nothing here that couldn’t be covered adequately in 40 minutes. The other 50 minutes consist of director Werner Herzog’s spiritual musings, which are uninteresting, verbose and not terribly coherent.

27/03/2011

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