Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave of Forgotten Dreams is Werner Herzog's look at the oldest known cave paintings. It's intriguing just from the perspective of the fact that basically no one ever gets to see them in person. He explores some other facets of life back then, like the landscape and other forms of art, so it's not only about the paintings. It's interesting to think about.

I wasn't interested in Cave of Forgotten Dreams when it came out, but someone (hi, ZT) said it "literally (literally)" blew their mind, so I figured I'd check it out. I watched the same way I always watch documentaries – in 10-minute intervals over the course of a day. It's a little slow sometimes. And it bugged me when they were first exploring and getting lots of shots of them shining lights on the drawings that were so bright that you couldn't actually see the drawings. But they eventually stopped doing that.

I liked seeing the landscape around the cave, and thinking about what it was like 30,000 years ago. That really is an astounding amount of time to think about, how long people have been around for. I particularly liked the part where they were talking about the adjacent footprints of an 8-year-old boy and a wolf. Paraphrased, "Did the wolf track the boy into the cave and eat him, were they companions, or were they there 5,000 years apart? We'll never know."

It was interesting that a lot of the drawings *were* done thousands of years apart, but people never lived in the cave. They just went there to paint stuff. Like a museum I guess. They thought it probably had some kind of ceremonial significance. It's interesting to think about all the animals they had that are exctinct now, like cave bears and mammoths and things. They said everything was all basically covered in glaciers. But then they talked about deer. And they had torches. So there had to be stuff growing somewhere.

I liked the archaeologist who used to perform in the circus. "Were you a lion tamer?" "Mostly not lion tamer. Mostly unicycle and juggling." The computer-generated map of the entire cave was cool. The two ladies who study this kind of thing for a living were interesting because it's like, how do you make money at this exactly? Do they earn money any way besides teaching? I liked the guy who demonstrated how they threw spears.

It would be pretty easy to be unimpressed about all the fanfare over what are basically stick figures, but I decided to at least try to get into it, and I did find it interesting overall. And the music was nice. You wouldn't think so about a movie about cave paintings, but it would've been cool to see in Imax.

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