As a filmmaker--albeit for the very small screen rather than the very large one--it was my supreme pleasure to interview legendary director Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) about his latest film Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Herzog's first foray into 3-D, the movie takes viewers on a journey through the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave in the South of France, which contains perfectly preserved charcoal drawings, many of which date to 30,000 years ago.
The drawings themselves are stunning--giving us a window into the hearts and minds of the people who populated Southern Europe during the last ice age. And apparently animals were their main preoccupation, as the cave walls contain a charcoal menagerie, from European lions to woolly rhinos to cave bears (oh my!). As Herzog’s team explore the cave, their banks of LED lights dance across these images, simulating the firelight that once illuminated them and creating what Herzog provocatively calls "proto-cinema."
The film will be in U.S. theaters starting Friday, April 29, but until then, here’s more on the Cave of Forgotten Dreams from Herr Herzog himself:
Eric R. Olson is a multimedia editor for Nature Publishing Group. He primarily produces videos for Scientific American.