Cave of Forgotten Dreams (USA/UK/Canada/France/Germany, 2011)

cinema-Cave-of-Forgotten-DreamsDirected by: Werner Herzog. How much Herzog have I even seen in my day? Not enough, considering how awesome he is. Let’s see, out of his feature films, very little—just Stroszek—and of his documentaries, just Grizzly Man and Into the Abyss. And really, there’s no reason not to dig right into Herzog’s stuff because as a narrative builder, he’s great at making little worlds all his own, and even with documentary material, he somehow makes the outside world content that he’s filming fit into his own particular Herzog-vision. I guess I’m not really in a position to speak intelligently about the work of Werner Herzog at the moment, partially because I watched this one out of sheer fandom, not out of intellectual, filmographic curiosity. I have nothing to add about the oeuvre of Herzog, or his position in the pantheon of New German Cinema, or modern American documentary practice, etc. Basically I thought it looked like a cool movie, because I think history is cool, and pre-history is cool, and archaeology is cool, and this rolls them all into one. (And this film furnished me with a miniature insight into the discussions of historical film that I’ve been reading a bit of lately. The part where the lady archaeologist or zoologist or whatever, is looking at the painting of the Cave Lions, an extinct species, she remarks how the paintings show us that the male Cave Lions didn’t have a mane like modern lions do, which was something that archeologists weren’t sure about based on the skeletal record. As someone who knows nothing of science or ossiology or whatever bone science is called, I found this really interesting. Just like with historical film, we have a human artistic creation, a painting, a human being’s artistic interpretation of the world around them standing in for a contribution to the historical record of factual knowledge, for the simple reason that it’s the only “picture” of a Cave Lion that we have access to. Pretty neat huh?) This film is pretty one-note, in the sense that it’s all childlike wonder and amazement, so if you’re too cynical to enjoy that kind of thing, maybe skip this one. If you’re into just marvelling at the images of some prehistoric cave paintings that you’ll probably never never never ever get to see in your life, then please, plug in like I did and go “ooo” and “ahhhh” like I did for 90 minutes.


2 responses to “Cave of Forgotten Dreams (USA/UK/Canada/France/Germany, 2011)

  1. Pingback: Meru (USA, 2015) | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2015 | Offhand Reviews·

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