Thursday, December 8, 2011
Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011)
I have a soft spot for IMAX films, especially when they're shown on the giant screen at the St. Louis Science Center. They run about 40 minutes and provide a tricky mix of education and entertainment. Strong examples include Everest, Dolphins, and Journey into Amazing Caves. These are fun, visually stunning movies that strike the right balance, but it's not an easy task. I mention these films because their subject matter relates to Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which arrived in theaters this year. Unlike those choices, however, this documentary is 90 minutes and must do a lot more to keep our interest.
Exploring France's legendary Chauvet Caves, Herzog brings his unique style to the project. He serves as the narrator, on-screen guide, and interviewer for this documentary. There are some slow points that may test the patience of even the most dedicated viewer, especially at home. Theater goers had the benefit of seeing the remarkable drawings in 3D. This is a rare case where I believe the use of 3D is actually worthwhile. Check out my PopMatters review for more details on this inconsistent, but intriguing film.