Sunday, 20 November 2011

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog is incomparable in his transcendent style of narration; steeped in existential figuring.

In this fascinating documentary, he leads a small film crew along side scientists, art historians and a master perfumer into the sealed Chauvet caves in southern France, in a rare opportunity to witness with wonderment and attempt to demystify the oldest known paintings by human kind, carbon dated back 32,000 years.  With the help of the inquiring minds of experts in each of their fields and projecting his own impression that these represent the "awakening of the human soul" and in another instance "proto-cinema", I was drawn into it's quiet and inarticulate space.  The dawn of art is exerted as a spiritual path, lacking self-awareness, as there are no portrayals of human figures, only a single primitive female lower body dominated by the upper body of a bison (consider Picasso's modern artist's motif of the minatour as his representation of sexual appetite) - but what could it entail for the artist in a prehistoric context?

He ends with a 10 minute long meditation, simply to music, through the images captured along the length of the cave, which will never be open to the public and will be the closest, as viewers, we will get to standing within it's secret climate controlled confines to gaze upon the earliest artwork of our predecesors.

Available on Amazon


  1. I love Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man is one of favorite movies of all time), so I am utterly ashamed that I have yet to see this movie! I'm going to rectify this immediately as it sounds like an amazing film. :)

  2. I was introduced to Herzog's documentary style with Grizzly Man, it still remains one of the most intriguing factual movies I have seen. And of course I cannot wait to see his next; "Into the Abyss".

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment - do watch this!