Customer Review

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soulful film, a deep experience,, November 1, 2011
This review is from: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (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. Throughout the film he intones in a soft European murmur, musing about the nature of human consciousness and the relationship of this ancient artwork to our own modern sensibilities: how much of the aesthetic and world view of this primitive culture do we carry about with us today? Some viewers may find the intellectualism and pretensions hard to take (as well as the often intrusive but oddly affecting score...) yet it is hard to deny the power of the subject.

You or I will never be able to go inside these caves -- they are closely guarded by the French government -- but in Herzog's film we can become immersed in them. Leaving the theater, walking in sunshine or under electric lights, you may marvel at the wonders that thirty thousand years of human life have brought - the works of stone and steel, plastic and glass, the layer upon layer of habitation and roads, the planes in the sky and the optical magic that brings art to life in films such as this. And, like Herzog and his crew, you may find yourself swept up by the connections we still have to the stunning pictures that lay hidden inside a dark cave for far more time than civilization itself... it is truly miraculous.

A highly recommended, deeply moving film - for the full effect see it in the theaters, if you can. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 4, 2011 8:20:19 PM PDT
Delightful review...Thanks

Posted on Dec 27, 2011 12:17:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2011 12:18:20 AM PST
An excellent review of what was, to me, a profoundly moving (even spiritual) film. I've watched it multiple times now, and each time I feel a sense of awe and mystery as they enter the cave and as we see the images, and Herzog's little meanderings give it just the right rhythm and atmosphere. It stayed in my mind for weeks after I first watched it, and I feel it's one of the few films that has actually (ever so slightly) changed the way I look at the world.

Posted on Jan 25, 2012 10:26:14 AM PST
R. Gawlitta says:
Indeed, very fine review.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details


4.0 out of 5 stars (231 customer reviews)
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
$27.98 $20.97
Add to cart Add to wishlist

DJ Joe Sixpack

Location: Middle America

Top Reviewer Ranking: 378