Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Caves of Forgotten Dreams

Chauvet Cave in southern France contains the oldest known pictorial creations by humans. Fitzcarraldo director Werner Herzog took a small team of scientists and camera people using 3D technology to record and share with the world an interesting journey on artistic wonders of our early ancestors.

Located 400 miles from Paris three French cavers Jean-Marie Chauvet, √Čliette Brunel Deschamps and Christian Hillaire in 1994 discovered an air current coming from a cliff. The cave has been sealed tight for some 20,000 years. What they found amid the calcite formations, and stalagmites/stalactites was a treasure drove of paintings on the cave walls going back as far as 32,000 years ago. To preserve the site a steel door was installed by the French cultural ministry and kept locked. Plus a series of small walkways were erected to minimize the damage from any scientific exploration. They did not find evidence of the humans actually living in the caves, only animal bones and the paintings. Some of the painting have been estimated to have been drawn some 5000 years apart. Horses, bears, rhino's and the only known cave picture of a panther were found. There was a bison with eight legs to show movement. The details and life depicted are breathtaking. Also found were goddess figurines and human hand-prints. It's hard to fathom that early humans had such an artistic gift and it has remained hidden all these years.

Only a film crew of three and some scientists were allowed on Herzog's team. Ordinary citizens were barred to protect it from damaged done to other prehistoric caves. Director of photography Peter Zeitlinger artfully lingers on the extraordinary paintings enhanced by 3D. For once the technology is used to good effect that doesn't involve things blowing up or crashing. It brings the viewer closer to enjoy the detail of such an amazing site. Herzog narrates the informative journey while the soundtrack by Ernst Reijseger eerily fits the mood of the underground wonder. While the subject manner may prove to be too sleepy for many viewers, the beauty is too awe inspiring to dismiss. There is concern that there is a nuclear power plant 20 miles away and a biosphere of warm waters may effect the caves. It is revealed at the end of the film there will be an opening of an additional Chauvet exhibition which will help bring the attention needed for the caves to be designated a Unesco World Heritage site.
(Review by reesa)

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