Written May 10, 2011
The only reason I don't rate this movie at the very top is that it's unusual and some folks may not love it. I did, however!! Very odd, but very beautiful, full of amazing camera work (3-D, taken inside a cramped cave in poor light) that is by turns grand and playful. The cave art that is the subject of the film is stunning, moving, poetic, and given additional emotional punch by the musical soundtrack composed to accompany it. Wildly romantic French scenery filmed mostly in winter or early spring which gives it an austere, muted beauty. Then throw in a series of quirky interviews with various paleontologists, art historians, documentation technologists nearly all of whom are quite weird and Herzog's own idiosyncratic narration. Not like any movie you have ever seen or will likely see again, but gripping and not to be missed. I now understand that all previous, two-dimensional representations of this kind of prehistoric art that I have seen did a terrible injustice to the work.
Written May 29, 2011
Didn't know what to expect but walked away with a sense of awe of the artist(s) whose ideas and images so captured the respect and beauty of the beings drawn. Level of the artist(s) so far exceeds any of the cave drawings I've seen more recently.
So many questions around what's happening to the cave now ...
Written June 03, 2011
The journey into the cave was well presented, capturing the feeling of descent, the importance of this awesome discovery, as well as the value of the care taken in its preservation. A breathtaking cavern, some stalactites look like textiles. The paintings were beautifully rendered. I trembled with the reality of viewing such an ancient expression of artistic creation, especially with the talent to depict the animal's motion. At times I wished that the shots lingered, so that I could entirely perceive the animal depicted. There was a reprise later in the film, though. The idea that most of the art was created by one (probably man) as evidenced by his hand prints through the cave, was heat warming. The setting so near to the energy grid nuclear reactor was chilling though.
This film combined a good blend of archaeology, history, sociology, art, and imagination. An added treat was getting to know a bit of the specific talents and personalities of those who worked on the project.
Written July 25, 2011
I appreciated the art and the interviews but wish the music would stop playing - even over the voices during the interview. Is it really necessary? I can't stand the mixture of our today's modern classical flute-cello-bass, opera, church choir, jaws & whatever else. Less music would better suit a silent cave, or just heartbeats would make me feel like those animals are still breathing. That sort of music does not fit the music our ancestors would have played 35,000 years ago! The music totally killed it for me. Other than that, it's a beautiful and educational piece of documentary.
Written May 29, 2011
Must siee in 3D to get view the contours within the cave and the geological formations including the crystal formations. Absolutely Fantastic!!