Let me finally speak out about the year’s breakout documentary hit, Werner Herzog‘s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, in which the noted filmmaker takes us inside the Chauvet caves of southern France to look at really old pictures of animals and people on the wall.
First of all, I usually greatly admire Herzog’s work, especially when he delves into the perennial tug between mankind and nature, as he does in this film.
And I love the idea of a 3-D documentary, the first few minutes of Cave providing a breathtaking sweep into gorgeous netherlands of the imagination.
But then he goes into the cave.
And though it’s initially exciting, you start to feel claustrophobic, seeing as you’re made to look at the same few pictures over and over.
You look at the grouping of horses more times than you see flaring nostrils in a Tom Cruise action thriller.
And then you see them again. And again.
By the end, when Herzog is doing his patently kooky narration — I’m paraphrasing, but it’s something like, “Maybe we’re all alligators, wallowing in the prehistoric mud while waiting for a brighter day” — you have really had enough.
I hate to spoil everyone’s fun, but isn’t this movie basically The Emperor’s New Cave?