Cave of Forgotten Dreams - 11th June 2011

I saw this film at the IFC cinema in New York and it was a perfect, pristine 3D print of it.
I am still not sure, having not seen the 2D version, just how much the third dimension added to it but despite that it was a rich, intelligent, fascinating and detailed type of work the likes of which we rarely see anymore.

This is a documentary in the purest sense, as it is, quite simply, just a documentation of something. It just so happens that this 'something' is  beyond valuable and utterly remarkable.
It has no axe to grind, no drum to beat, in typical Herzogin fashion, the Bavarian loony genius shows us something, offers up a couple of intriguing questions and moves on without long diatribes or half baked assumptions.

For those not in the know this is all about some 35,000 year old cave paintings in France and Herzog is the only person who has been allowed down there to film it for all to see and thank Zeus he has because I can't imagine anyone doing a better or slightly weirder job. From the people he chooses to interview to the questions he asks and the observations he makes, the whole thing is just a little off its axis in a charming, slightly nuts way.

The film throws up so many discussions your mind can barely contain them all and the more you think, the more you see the ramifications of these paintings. Questions of tribal behaviour being more observant and artistic than you'd expect, questions of religion, or at least some form of basic gathering/worship/celebration, questions on sex/gender and of course questions of evolution while the whole time it also balances the fact that the paintings shine a light on our self inflated sense of our own creativity and how, really, little we have creatively progressed in that vast chasm of time.

Herzog's use of simple cameras, a tiny crew and minimal lighting when he is down in the cave, is just hypnotic and don't worry he covers every inch he can with those cameras and towards the end of the film he does just let the images play out, utilising evocative music and simple but highly effective light play to transport you back 35,000 years with those questions still swirling in your head.

To hear me review this film in more depth, along with others, please listen to the third episode of my podcast:

Available to download now from
and iTunes (just search 'after movie diner' in the podcasts section)

9 out of 10 Bavarian fruitcakes
Points from The Wife 9 out of 10

Tango & Cash - 12th June 2011

Friday 13th Part 4 'The Final Chapter' - 5th June 2011