Arthouse cave art

1 minute read

A new film to debut at the Toronto Film Festival is a 90-minute 3-D exploration of Chauvet Cave, directed by Werner Herzog. The LA Times reports on the film: “Is Werner Herzog’s new 3-D documentary a huge forward leap or total folly?”

For Herzog, 3-D was the perfect tool to capture the drawings, since after all, the cave that held the drawings was akin to a modern-day theater or gallery where primitive people could view, by torchlight, this mysterious new form of art. "Once you see the cave with your own eyes, you realize it had to be filmed in 3-D," Herzog says. "I've never used the process in the 58 films I made before and I have no plans to do it ever again, but it was important to capture the intentions of the painters. Once you saw the crazy niches and bulges and rock pendants in the walls, it was obvious it had to be in 3-D."

I really hope it comes to Madison. I think this is a great use for 3-D. Truly some aspects of the cave art depend on the actual 3-dimensional form of the underlying rock. Ninety minutes is a long tour, and I hope that the film uses the time to explore the place – not jam it with speculative narration.