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Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Mormonism is a faith tradition fueled by American fundamentalism. Considering the religions star-spangled origins and red state headquarters, it is little wonder that a denial of evolution still exists.

Yes, I grew up tutored by the uneducated, who in their piety, preached that humanity was no more than seven thousand years old. Pseudo-theologians like Cleon Skousen popularized right-wing beliefs amongst these Latter-Day Saints since the time of my birth. Luckily my father never believed in such things, and so I was allowed to discover knowledge and wisdom on my own. This led to scattered pursuits such as a mission to Africa, a Bachelor’s in Theology, and a trek to see Werner Herzog’s latest film this past Sunday.

For the third week in a row I found myself seated in Cinema One at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. By far one of the greatest screens in Toronto, and unbeknownst to me up until Sunday, home to Dolby’s 3D Digital Experience.

Herzog’s latest venture, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” originally premiered at TIFF this past September. Due to popular demand it has been brought back for a limited engagement.

The film is a documentary funded by the French Ministry of Culture, exploring the Chauvet Cave. On December 18th, 1994 three speleologists adventured beyond the Vallon-Pont-d’Arc and made one the greatest discoveries known to humankind, the Chauvet Cave. Within the Chauvet Cave (named after one of the explorers), there exists a series of paintings over 30,000 years old. Preserved pristinely due to a cave-in long ago, they remain untouched. They wrap around the curvatures of the walls mimicking movement. In other places hand prints mark the stones red. All in all it is a breathtaking 3D affair, and the only way to see the cave in all its splendor.

As the strings hummed and the narration played out I often drifted into a mesmerized trance. Seeing this detailed work I was confounded by the depths of our species age. To think that eons ago humans engaged in arts as we do now baffled me beyond belief. Our ancestors were a poetic people, and the thought was/is a comforting one.

It looks like Skousen was wrong. It looks like African Cats has some company as I’m nominating Cave for Best Documentary. It looks like if you miss out on this screening, you’re missing out on an age beyond history. Last of all, it looks like the next blog makes 100 for this series I’ve titled, “My Life at the Movies.”

Comments

  • Chris Elliott

    Very cool piece dude. I was actually gripped to my screen the entire time. Well written, well thought out and well set up. I find this stuff to be fascinating and perhaps one day we can re-watch this together. Two thumbs way up slime! 

  • Chris Elliott

    Very cool piece dude. I was actually gripped to my screen the entire time. Well written, well thought out and well set up. I find this stuff to be fascinating and perhaps one day we can re-watch this together. Two thumbs way up slime! 

    • Anonymous

      It is truly a movie beyond words. I can’t say it enough… I am amazed at how old our species is. Time for the most part has robbed us of such memories, but luckily nature in her mercy provides freak situations like this. Because of the ancient collapse the cave was preserved in an air-tight environment. Not only did this preserve the paintings and hand prints, but also a child’s footprint and tooled scratches. My jaw was on the floor throughout. I also got a little misty eyed… I have more faith in humanity now in seeing how far we have come. 

  • Chris Elliott

    Very cool piece dude. I was actually gripped to my screen the entire time. Well written, well thought out and well set up. I find this stuff to be fascinating and perhaps one day we can re-watch this together. Two thumbs way up slime! 

  • Anonymous

    Definatly Have to catch this flick, gonna be a download or TMN pick for sure.  Love this kind of stuff.

    • Anonymous

      You will love it… but there will be the element of the 3D absent. It really made a difference in this picture as the paintings are on curved surfaces, it allowed you to see the full picture which was amazing. Regardless it is definitely a must see. 

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