Monday, January 23, 2012

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave lions painted over 30,000 years ago.
They are the OLDEST discovered art works of man. THE. Very. Oldest.
And they look NEW.

Director Werner Herzog has filmed a masterpiece. The documentary movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, featuring Chauvet Cave, released last year and recently out on DVD, is breathtakingly good. GOOD. GOOD. GOOD.

In a word it is: captivating, enchanting, bewitching, enthralling, entertaining, awesome, astonishing, magnificent, moving, brilliant, mesmerizing, mind-blowing and outstanding. And More.

Of the 12 DIFFERENT Critics Choice Awards it was nominated for, this movie has already won 9, is nominated for the 2 others with yet another award pending from the twelfth. And guess what? IT REALLY IS THAT DAMN GOOD.

Now, we have it admit, it's not the movie that's good it is the subject. What makes the movie so ridiculously wonderful is that through Herzog, we get to be inside the cave. The viewer is transported into a cave where 40,000 years ago people went and painted the most beautiful pictures you've ever seen of ice age animals that you've never seen! It's a journey that is so well worth taking we are still stunned, as if we'd been there.

The tableau of cave art is the main attraction of this awesome cave, but what is even more unbelievably overwhelming are the cave bear remnants, the very fossils of cave bear skulls and scratches on the walls that look as new today as they have for over 40-50 millenia! Then there are the fossilized footprints of an 8-year old boy followed by a wolf! As Herzog points out, "was the wolf stalking the boy? Were they friends? Or were the imprints, captured in time, formed thousands of years apart?"

Not to mention the actual cave itself. Sealed by a landslide eons ago, it's main entrance forgotten to time, the cave is resplendent with stalagmites, stalactite's and calcite deposits creating works of beauty all themselves. It's a beautiful and haunting world. More than one researcher has commented that you can actually feel as if the artists were still there watching you.

To call it a treasure trove is a vast understatement. It is acknowledged by virtually everyone that Chauvet Cave is the most magnificent and important discovery in all of the history of human culture.

What Herzog has done is allowed us to explore the cave and it is unprecedented. Access is restricted to archaeologists, geologists, anthropologists and then only for a few weeks a year, a few hours a day, etc. No one just goes in. There are regulations galore. You must wear protected foot gear and walk on a suspended walkway only 2 feet wide and above all else, you must never touch anything!

For this alone, this first class ticket of admittance to the Chauvet Cave is priceless.

Watch the trailer:

A wall of horses and battling rhinos

This unfaded image, over 25,000 years old, looks as if it was painted yesterday.
It is that clear, pristine and perfect.

Wiki Article

1 comment:

Sir Knight Daryl Breese said...

What is very special about this cave is the art murals contain profound religious symbolism which are connected to the Holy Books today. The 9 meter mural of animals getting off an ark like vessel that has 'landed' on twin peaked mountain gives special credence to the Gilgamesh Epic and Noah's Flood stories. This is the shared common point of origin for all religion, pushing back the dawn of religion some 15,000 years. Scientists who visited the cave and people who have watched the movie have reported daylight Visions of Angels....
Sir Knight Daryl Breese