Sunday, January 29, 2012

When Herzog meets Monty Python in CAVE of FORGOTTEN DREAMS?

 There is no doubt in my mind that Werner Herzog is the consummate filmmaker. Being a geeked out fan of his for years I have not loved everything he has made but am never disappointed when you follow along in his journeys.

CAVE of FORGOTTEN DREAMS fits into this category. I missed seeing it in the theater in 3D. For me it's so far the best way to use the technology that isn't synthetically made to manipulate the audience. I'm not a fan of 3D, I think it's a desperate ploy from the Hollywood corporate entity to keep people coming to theaters to watch mediocre/poor dreck in order to pay overpriced tickets sales covering inflated and unnecessary budgets. But when I heard Herzog was going to use 3D to bring you inside the Chauvet cave in Souther France I was very excited. It's what 3D is meant to be used for.

I bought a 3D Blu-ray copy for my brother on Christmas and last night we watched it on his 3D flat screen. It's one of the most incredible pieces of cinema you'll see. The camera passes over 28000-32000 year old cave images that are drawn on different layers of rock, giving them a three dimensional look. Unless you visit the cave which is now shut down permanently you will never be able to experience the magnitude of this discovery. 

That being said, I wish Herzog had gone more with the KOYAANISQATSI motif than rolling out his cavalcade of Monty Python guests that ate up screen time. For one example, the bear skinned flute man showing up. He's not particularly relevant and came across as a goof. I get that Herzog manipulates his docs as much as his narratives. But I feel he may be becoming a characterization of his former self by pontificating even more outlandish comments than usual on what you're seeing as well as loaded questions to his interviewees. I found myself laughing and rolling my eye's during what is supposed to be pertinent information. 

This approach toed the line in GRIZZLY MAN, but less is more here and the gold ticket to this movie is the cave drawings, let them speak to us rather than having Herzog put his own 2¢.

That being said, this movie should ONLY be viewed in 3D, otherwise you'll miss the whole reason why he wanted to use this technology and the impact that it makes.