Skip to Content





Friday, November 11

(2010, Werner Herzog) “Once you saw the crazy niches and bulges and rock pendants, it was obvious it had to be in 3-D.” Herzog and his three-man crew spent six four-hour days filming the world’s oldest paintings (at least 32,000 years old) in France’s Chauvet Cave, sealed off to the public since its discovery in 1994. DCP. Approx. 95 mins.


“One of the few justifiable recent excursions into 3-D, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams documents a secret wonder of the world.”
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice

“SPELLBINDING! [Herzog] never allows his images to violate the theater space; he uses 3-D as a way for us to enter the film's space, instead of a way for it to enter ours.”
– Roger Ebert

“Mr. Herzog walks and even crawls for your viewing pleasure. He’s an agreeable, sometimes characteristically funny guide, whether showing you the paintings or talking with the men and women who study them…he also has a talent for tapping into the poetry of the human soul.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Our most blessedly batty cinematic explorer has set his sights on the beginning of time — or as close as he can get. A journey to prehistory that's simultaneously wondrous and tedious, profound and completely nuts — which is to say, quintessential Herzog…No one can dig into the human mystery like Herzog. His companions might seek data, but Herzog seeks nothing less than the beginning of the human soul.”

“This is one of the few films to use the format for intellectual, even philosophical ends: the added depth parallels the deeper understanding of humanity that the paintings inspire.”
– Chicago Reader

“If you are a member of the human race, you should see this movie.”
– Slate

Cave Of Forgotten Dreams has much to recommend it: Herzog’s half off-the-wall/half-profound queries, a delightfully unexpected coda on albino alligators, a single scene on ancient weapons that alone justifies the 3-D process, and the opportunity to see what so few have seen.”
– A.V. Club

“SEE THIS FILM! The 3-D here is beautiful. Herzog films fossils, claw-marks, stalactites and stalagmites with a deep reverence…This least likely of essayist-documentarians turns Chauvet Cave into a living, undulating art exhibition.”
– Chicago Tribune

“Herzog stamps his presence on the film through his now familiar style of narration, a mixture of awe and scepticism, humility and wit.”
– Time Out (London)

Film Forum