Skip to comments.Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Posted on 05/17/2011 8:45:28 AM PDT by flowerplough
In a film that blends paleontological wonders with existential pondering, Cave of Forgotten Dreams asks the question, "What constitutes humanness?" German director Werner Herzog creeps deep into Chauvet Cave in southern France, where researchers say they have found the earliest known cave paintings. The charcoal paintings etched on the curved walls of the cavesome say from 32,000 B.C., others say 10,000 B.C.look as though someone scratched them there last week.
A landslide sealed the cave thousands of years ago, creating a perfectly preserved time capsule until explorers discovered it in 1994. Only a few scientists are allowed inside, and Herzog labored under a set of strict rules to preserve the cave's delicate environment. He had to use battery-powered cameras and lights that did not give off heat. The film crew was forbidden to step off a 2-foot-wide walkway and could only stay in the cave for a few hours at a time. Despite the logistical difficulties, the film is a cinematic tour de force. Herzog uses light and shadow to create the illusion of a flickering torch on a cave wall, just as the painters would have seen it long ago. The filming elevates 3D to true artistry, giving shape and depth to the curves and contours of the cave wall. The paintings are more fluid and full of life and movement than medieval paintings thousands of years later.
There's a sense that these ancestors were not the hulking, empty-headed cavemen often portrayed but souls with the urge to communicate and represent the wonders of their world. The paleontologists and archaeologists approach the paintings with awe, dreaming about the lives and hopes of the people who created them. "It is," says narrator Herzog, "as if the modern human soul had awakened here."
(Excerpt) Read more at worldmag.com ...
Even added a ‘t’ to his name I like that much
29,000 BC was only a trillion seconds ago.
My good deed for the day, then. And to enjoying Herzog’s work; wish I could remember where I read that the artist’s highest hurdle is “delight”. Artists might confront, or shock, or explore, or inform, but the real artists attempt to share, and delight.
“z” in german is pronounced “ts”, as in “rats”.
OBTW, “Herzog” means “warlord”. It is an actual german office - in war, the Herzog rules.
Pretty close! 29699 BC was a trillion seconds ago.
We’ve come on a lot in the last trillion seconds - no doubt about it. But alas, much of our art does not delight. Government funding will do that.
awesome, did not know that.
Once upon a time I was able hold a decent conversation in what I believe was considered hoch Deutsch. Half my family is German/English
Yeah, once upon a time I could converse in German, too.
Language - use it or lose it.
bump for later
Ancient Encounters is a pretty good book.
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Thanks for the ping, SC. Wife and I saw the previews for this movie about 3 weeks ago at a theater in Bethesda, MD and it looked fascinating. We will certainly see it...
If I had a dollar for every one of those seconds, I could pay off 1/14 of the national debt.
One fourteenth hardly seems worth it. I'll just keep the trillion dollars.
This is one movie that I truly want to see in 3-D. I heard an interview with Herzog about this - what a challenge to film.
Sounds like a film you would enjoy!
You are right. I have to see this film.
After 29 Kya there were three noticeable drops in world temperature. I suspect that one at 22 Kya was caused by the eruption of Sakura-Jima which left a 15 mile diameter caldera now known as Sakura-Jima Bay with a small volcano of that name at one side. Does anyone know of 2 major volcanoes between 29 and 22 Kya to explain the other two drops?
Am I crazy or can you see the birth of pointillism in some of these images.
Could have been an attempt to save paint on large images, but it worked.
Surprising that there are so few human images. You’d think the artitsts would have wanted to memorialize themselves as well as the animals around them.
Thanks, they’re beautiful.
Wait, we have to pick just one?!? ;’)
There was an impact on what passed for modern art when stuff like this was discovered. Pick-asso was influenced by folk art (basically, garage sale crap from countries which don’t yet have garages today), and earlier on paintings in the 18th and 19th centuries were influenced by the art found in Pompeii etc.
During the late middle ages/early renaissance the Papacy moved back to Rome, and all kinds of classical masterpieces (and some real junk as well) was excavated as new foundations were dug and the like. Michelangelo was profoundly influenced by the discovery of this Roman Empire masterpiece:
I seem to remember an allegation that the Laocoon group was sculpted by Michelangelo, and attributed to ancient Romans. I can’t imagine any way for that allegation to be the least bit credible.
Ah, here it is:
Nah, my hair turned grey years ago.
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