The trailer for Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” has hit, and the footage seems to be mostly men walking around hidden caves, staring at old drawings. When we saw it at the Toronto Film Festival a few months ago, we thought pretty much the same thing.
Herzog first became interested in the Chauvet Cave, the place in France where the movie is filmed, after reading a New Yorker article by Judith Thurman, one of the producers of the film. He received special permission from the French government to film in the caves, and even with the pass, his crew and himself were under strict security to protect the underground art.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the filming of “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” is Herzog’s use of 3D. Before he put this film into production, he was an outspoken opponent of the use of 3D-filmmaking. But speaking with the LA Times last September, Herzog said, “Once you see the cave with your own eyes, you realize it had to be filmed in 3-D. 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."
He goes on in the article to say that “Avatar” was difficult for him to follow and that romantic comedies should never be in 3D because it takes away from the emotionality of the film. Although his dabbling in 3D might seem surprising, Herzog took a laissez-faire approach to the format saying, “Let's deal with 3-D as if we had 30 or 40 years of history behind us. We should be completely casual, as if we weren't trying to impress everyone with the scope of it." Take that James Cameron!
The film will hit theaters later this via IFC's Sundance Selects division. -Catherine Scott