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Cave of Forgotten Dreams


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Product Details

  • Actors: Werner Herzog, Jean Clottes
  • Directors: Werner Herzog
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005HP2J66
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,020 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, a breathtaking new documentary from the incomparable Werner Herzog (Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man), follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. One of the most successful documentaries of all time, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS is an unforgettable cinematic experience that provides a unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back to human hands over 30,000 years ago -- almost twice as old as any previous discovery.

Customer Reviews

This hour and a half movie was eighty minutes too long.
Rodney E. Graham
In this film, Herzog lets all of us experience a forbidden, primitive, marvelous place - The Chauvet caves of France.
Gerard D. Launay
This one is his most cohesive, patient, and,in many ways, his most beautiful film.
Richard A. Luc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

173 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Bob Drake VINE VOICE on October 15, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I happen to like 3D in the theater and at home, so I want to speak to that aspect of this film.

Mr. Herzog saw the potential for 3D when he first visited the cave. He had to create his own, collapsible 3D equipment to fit through the hermetically sealed cave door, and it had to be manually adjusted for parallax depending on the distance to the image being filmed because access is via a walkway from which they could not stray. On the second visit they could use the knowledge from the first to gauge the length of extensions required to see images on the back side of pendant rocks and protrusions.

The end result is a 3D feast. The cave painters used the 3D shape of the rocks in the cave to give depth to their paintings. In one case the face of a ox is on one face of a rock and the flank of the beast corresponds to a bulge in the side of that same rock, around the corner, much as if you were viewing the animal. While the film and the paintings can be appreciated in 2D, the true artistry of the ancient painters can really only be appreciated in 3D, and Mr. Herzog was right to endure the extra hardship of lugging the 3D camera through the cave.

Bravo.
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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 1, 2011
Format: DVD
--------------------------------------------
"The Cave Of Forgotten Dreams"
(Directed by Werner Herzog, 2011)
--------------------------------------------
Given unprecedented access to the Chauvet Cave, a vast archeological repository located in the south of France, legendary director Werner Herzog and a minimal crew of four crawl through tunnels and balance on delicate metal catwalks, filming the extraordinary and breathtaking cave paintings found within. Herzog designed a lightweight, portable 3D camera, small enough to be brought into the cavern, so that he could capture the ways in which the ancient artists of Chauvet used the natural contours of the cave walls to enhance their artwork. Although often rough technically, it is the most meaningful use of 3D cinematography I have ever seen, placing viewers inside the space of the cave in a way that seems magical and unreal.

The Chauvet cave paintings were made over 30,000 years ago, depicting predatory animals such as bears and lions, as well as bison, rhinos, mammoths and perhaps most striking of all, a wall of beautifully rendered horses. The spiritual and artistic presence of these paintings is almost overwhelming, embued with primal, primordial history and an astonishing technical and aesthetic command: these pictures are both evocative and beautiful. Herzog approaches them reverently, and delights in their mystery, often shooting them in half-shadow or using moving, flickering light to suggest the rude torches used by their creators as well as the complete, total darkness that shrouded these powerful pictures for untold millennia.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on May 26, 2011
Take everybody you know to see this film! It is one of those essential experiences like the first time your parents brought you to a zoo, the majestic Redwoods, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or an overnight camping trip when the nocturnal sounds and the stars are your only comforts or nightmares.

Director Werner Herzog is one of those filmmakers "obsessed" with those "obsessed" with the hidden meaning of art. His "Fitzcarraldo" is a film about a genius (or a madman) who tries to journey into the heart of the Amazon jungle and introduce opera to the aborigine natives. In this film, Herzog lets all of us experience a forbidden, primitive, marvelous place - The Chauvet caves of France. And on those deep, cavern walls is something spectacular. The first cave paintings made 32,000 years ago. Hidden in those dark caves, these paintings inspire wonder, fear, and awe. As the torches light up the animal pictures, the calcite crystals sparkle like a night sky.

Some geneticists argue that the modern human evolved when language began 50,000 years ago. So these paintings are darn close to that historic moment - Yes, people may have talked in some primitive language...then...but now, people are communicating in an entirely different medium...painting.

There are some who can argue that these cave paintings are great symbolic pictures of art in the way that some of the best modern art paintings are. (There is even a painting of a bull embracing a woman - echoes of Picasso's Minotaur). I will not disagree. The ice age lions are alert and ready, anxious to seize their prey. In another scene, we witness for the first time what a battle between rhinos looked like to our early ancestors. (They were probably fighting over sex just as humans do).
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 27, 2011
--------------------------------------------
"The Cave Of Forgotten Dreams"
(Directed by Werner Herzog, 2011)
--------------------------------------------
Given unprecedented access to the Chauvet Cave, a vast archeological repository located in the south of France, legendary director Werner Herzog and a minimal crew of four crawl through tunnels and balance on delicate metal catwalks, filming the extraordinary and breathtaking cave paintings found within. Herzog designed a lightweight, portable 3D camera, small enough to be brought into the cavern, so that he could capture the ways in which the ancient artists of Chauvet used the natural contours of the cave walls to enhance their artwork. Although often rough technically, it is the most meaningful use of 3D cinematography I have ever seen, placing viewers inside the space of the cave in a way that seems magical and unreal.

The Chauvet cave paintings were made over 30,000 years ago, depicting predatory animals such as bears and lions, as well as bison, rhinos, mammoths and perhaps most striking of all, a wall of beautifully rendered horses. The spiritual and artistic presence of these paintings is almost overwhelming, embued with primal, primordial history and an astonishing technical and aesthetic command: these pictures are both evocative and beautiful. Herzog approaches them reverently, and delights in their mystery, often shooting them in half-shadow or using moving, flickering light to suggest the rude torches used by their creators as well as the complete, total darkness that shrouded these powerful pictures for untold millennia.
Read more ›
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