Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cave of Forgotten Dreams 2D (B-)

As I sat through the repetitive imagery shown in Werner Hertzog's new documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, I deeply wished that I had been able to view the film in 3D. The film had clearly been made for the format. This was proved by the multiple references to how the cave art could be seen in three dimensions, along with various shots of this previously mentioned cave art specifically framed for a 3D audience. Unfortunately for those who are forced to see the film in 2D, all these shots and references to the nonexistent 3D play out extremely awkwardly, and occasionally tediously as well.

The film follows Werner Hertzog, his film crew, and a quirky group of scientists, as they journey through the depths of the Chauvet Caves in order study the cave art found inside. But these aren't your average examples of cave art; most of the sketches found in the cave are estimated to be over 30,000 years old. Armed with a four person crew and a countless number of restrictions, Hertzog is given the once in a lifetime opportunity to film inside the cave from the French government (Usually only guards and a select group of scientists are legally allowed to enter the cave).

The examples of the cave art seen in this film are spectacular, but Hertzog's dilemma is that he only has enough footage (or entertaining footage at least) for a 45-minute television special. So to compensate for this, he constantly shows the audience the same sketches again and again with different commentary and a different score.

Luckily, there are some respites from the repetition. There's a five minute scene where a scientist attempts to show Hertzog how neanderthal man would hunt. It's a fun, quirky scene which has little to do with the rest of the film, but acts like a refreshing break from the cave.

While this may seem like a negative review (and it slightly is), I am defiantly going to give the film a break because of the format I viewed it in. In 2D, the cave art seen couldn't have possibly been as grand as if it was in 3D. Still, just to see some of the art on display, this movie should still be seen. Just preferably in 3D.

Grade: B-

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