Film
12:47 pm
Fri May 6, 2011

Walker's Three to See: <i>Cave of Forgotten Dreams</i>

KCUR Arts Reporter Steve Walker shares his top movie picks of the week.

It may sound hyperbolic to describe Werner Herzog's new film as unlike anything you've ever seen but in this case, it's simply fact. Getting all the best out of what 3-D technology can offer, Herzog's movie explores France's Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave, which until the 1990s had been sealed off by a landslide more than 20,000 years ago. Inside, he and his tiny crew find sparkling stalagtites and stalagmites, the skulls and spines of animals (mostly cave bears, who also left a few paw prints and claw scratches), and exquisite cave paintings. Rendered in charcoal and dated to be 32,000 years old, they're like prehistoric wallpaper - perfectly detailed drawings of animals like rhinos and lions that roamed France at that time. And when shot up close, the layers of animal drawings make you feel like you're inside a Jackson Pollock painting. Between interviews both inside and outside the cave with the scientists allowed exclusive accessibility (there is no public access at all), Herzog's camera allows us to squeeze through it and float around it, and much of the 90 minutes is simply breathtaking.