Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams: 3-D Done Right

May 4, 2011

Along with live-streaming of performance, 3-D documentation of performance has been popping up more and more. We've posted on the Wim Wenders Pina Bausch documentary, which is finally arriving at movie screens in the United States, and the Royal Opera House's Carmen in 3-D is showing now as well.  

3-D films have been around for decades, but in this latest round of it's reboot, who is using it well? This is the question asked in a recent Atlantic review of Werner Herzog's documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. In the mythopoeic Herzogian way, the film's subject is the  Chauvet Cave in Southern France, which holds the worlds oldest  Paleolithic cave paintings.  Cave paintings are the oldest form of virtual reality and showing them in 3-D is an interesting artistic and formal approach.  From the review:
Zagar observed that as the ability to watch movies from so many mediums—be it smartphone, iPad, or computer—increases, audiences are looking for something more immersive in their theater-going experiences. This idea is similar in concept to the thinking that drove studios to champion 3-D in the 1950's. At the time they were competing with the new television set. But there is a possibility that with some recent 3-D endeavors the goal is one of expression over simple monetary gain. As Zagar said, "Digital film was traditionally ghettoized into small format, but docs and indies can be as big as any film. The technology will become more accessible and more filmmakers will utilize it." 
He pointed out that while Herzog is known for pushing the envelope, he is not alone among a growing cadre of "serious" filmmakers making use of 3-D. In February of this year Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club, Wings of Desire) premiered a 3-D documentary chronicling the work and spirit of the late avant-garde choreographer Pina Bausch. As much an homage to their 20-year friendship as an exploration of her groundbreaking work in dance and theater, Wenders has said of the documentary that, "It was only when 3-D was added to the language of film that I could enter dance's realm and language."

Read the full review,  "Werner Herzog's 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams': 3-D Done Right" by Leah Carroll, at the Atlantic website.

So, is Cave of Forgotten Dreams truly 3-D done right?  Check it out at your local movie theater and let us know in the comments.


Tags: 3-D, Werner Herzog, Carmen, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Pina Bausch, Wim Wenders, Royal Opera House, virtual reality

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