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Cave Of Forgotten Dreams [DVD]

Peter Zeitlinger    Exempt   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
Price: 42.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Peter Zeitlinger
  • Producers: Werner Herzog
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Oct 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005FFS6BK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,737 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Iconic director Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) once again takes us on an incredible adventure, going behind the frontier of an extraordinary place. Overcoming considerable challenges, Herzog captures the stunning majesty of the Chauvet Cave in southern France, where the world's oldest cave paintings have been discovered. Herzog reveals a breath-taking subterranean world including the 32,000-year-old artworks in his own inimitable style. With humorous and engaging narration Herzog reflects on our primal desire to communicate and represent the world around us, evolution and our place within it, and ultimately what it means to be human.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet the Ancestors Part Uno. 21 Oct 2011

Werner Herzog was a very privileged man indeed to gain access to the Chauvet cave in France's Ardeche region. Lascaux cave, once known as the Sistene Chapel of prehistoric cave painting has now been superceded by Chauvet, which was discovered by three fortunates only in 1994. This remarkable cave was fortunately covered by a landslide thousands of years ago which preserved the cave art, in some cases as if it were only done yesterday. These beautiful paintings give us a real link to our Paleolithic ancestors of 30,000 plus years ago. That is incredibly just how old some of these paintings are. Far older than anything previously discovered. The cave is still scattered with the bones of long extinct species like the cave bear and cave lion. Some of the paintings are breathtakingly beautiful with a fluidity of movement that any great artist would be proud of. Perhaps the centrepiece is a jaw dropping collection of horses one above the other, with two woolly rhinoceros engaged in a fight below them which beggars belief. Some of these ancient artists working with primitive tools created wonderful art. They were the Leonardo's of their distant time! Some ingeniously used the natural contours of the rock to give more realism to their pictures. These people had to literally get inside an animals head to track and kill them successfully, an art that has been lost in modern times with the demise of the last bushmen of the Kalahari and the native aboriginals of Australia. It is only with that knowledge that an individual could create such paintings. The dying bull at the Altamira cave in Spain is perhaps the greatest example of this.

Werner Herzog is able to capture this lost world amongst the shadows of the cave.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable 30 Sep 2011
By Davywavy2 VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When a group of caving enthusiasts broke through a rockfall into a long-buried complex in 1994, they unexpectedly stumbled on a collection of cave paintings over 30,000 years old which had been preserved against time by their isolation.

The caves remain secret and for the most part sealed; open for only a few days a year to a small number of researchers in order to prevent damage to the paintings, which could be harmed even by a rise in atmospheric CO2 from human breath. However, after years of trying, Werner Herzog was allowed to take a camera crew into the caves for those few days to capture this frankly amazing 3D documentary.

The walls of the caverns are decorated with horses and rhino which look as if they could have been painted last week, and scattered amongst them are smaller, more personal momentoes - someone, tens of thousands of years ago, left his handprint in ochre on the walls throughout the complex, and in the corner of one cave the footprints of a child and a wolf cross the floor together. It's these human reminders in amongst the archeology and geology which Herzog uses to try and cross the vast gulf of time between us and the artists to try to understand who the people were who made the pictures. What did they think or believe the pictures were for? Art alone, or in some way ritualistic? What purpose did the caves serve for these people? Who were they? Were they like us?

The documentary ranges widely through archaeology, prehistorians and geology to try and develop an answer to the questions, but at the end of the day time separates people from each other as much as distance and the people who created the art remain as unknowable to us as if they were on Mars.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad and the Quirky 5 Dec 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and you may too, but I find the almost-universal five-star reviews surprising.

Firstly the Good. Herzog is a quizzical, unhurried guide who takes us right into the experience of actually entering and exploring the cave, just as much as he takes us to the stunning cave art itself. There is an attempt to put the art in some sort of context by interviewing experts who have studied the art or who have deeper experience of the prehistory surrounding it. Herzog's interviewing technique (if it can be called such a thing) is wonderfully unexpected. Having taken us deep into the cave and given us a remarkable sense of the physical environment, Herzog goes back to each panel in careful detail. The final section films these anonymous masterpieces in 3D and in shifting light to give an absolutely uncanny sense of being there. As far as the art itself is concerned, it would be impossible to imagine it better filmed. The glacial pace of the story telling is, in this context, really welcome. You have the opportunity to truly experience and absorb the paintings in a manner that we rarely experience on film.

Now for the Bad! I have already mentioned the glacial pace of the film and I would imagine that some viewers will find it unbearably slow. I find the music dismal when it isn't positively irritating and I turned the sound off so that I could actually enjoy looking at the cave art. I also think that there are numerous missed opportunities to place the art in the context of the lives of our ancestors. Admittedly, we are still dependent on a great deal of speculation but, even so, there is so much more that could have been added. I was also baffled as to why the original discoverers were not interviewed. Why were they searching here?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The only way to see inside
This is worth watching in order to see the extraordinary prehistoric paintings of the Chauvet caves (closed to the public) which are tens of thousands of years old. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Mr. Rupert S. A. Rand
3.0 out of 5 stars The details on the Amazon page are incorrect
"Language: Italian, English
Subtitles: Italian"
This is wrong - the language is English and French. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Mr. R. Steed
4.0 out of 5 stars The Darkness Within and Without
Moving and somehow humbling and even sad as is the way with Herzog's documentaries, it also has the perhaps understandably ponderous and repetitive style in which the camera 'just... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mario
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching but has trouble staying focused
Jean-Michael Geneste Director of the Chauvet Cave Research Project takes us through the discovery and interpretation of what they believe we are seeing in a recently discovered... Read more
Published 2 months ago by bernie
2.0 out of 5 stars DVD not clearly described
Unfortunately the DVD was in Italian with Italian subtitleswhich was not clear when I ordered it so I returned it
Published 3 months ago by valerie marner
5.0 out of 5 stars A very impressive documentary
A wonderful narrative. I found this to be an intelligent, thought provoking and respectful look into the far distant past of our ancestors. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr R Marr
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
The filming of the cave interior and fantastic wall paintings was very good considering the restrictions placed upon the film crew. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cire
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I'd love to see this in 3d someday. Herzog works his magic with an absolutely fascinating subject. Well worth watching.
Published 7 months ago by janebeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Cave
Interesting. Very good job of director Werner Herzog in difficult conditions for filming because of restrictions in this french cave. Worth watching.
Published 9 months ago by Marko
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly idiosyncratic!
I first saw this on national tv in 2D and liked it a lot. After viewing it in 3D, I must admit that other reviewers are right: 3D is an amazing bonus in this case.
Published 11 months ago by Ivan Lietaert
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