German director Werner Herzog has made beautiful and frustrating movies about vampires, POWs, and guys trying to build an opera house in the middle of the jungle. With that kind of resume, it was only a matter of time before Herzog got around to working with that most maligned of modern film (re)inventions: 3-D. The result is his new movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival this week. Did we mention it's a documentary? About a cave. A cave in France. Don't worry, says Salon's Andrew O'Hehir, it will all make sense soon.
Let me go over that again briefly: Yes, Werner Herzog has made a movie in 3-D that's largely set inside a cave full of Stone Age art. His producer, Erik Nelson--who is a friend and an occasional Salon contributor -- says that Herzog is the first director of the new 3-D wave to use the technology for good, not for evil. Secondly, yes, the art is beautiful, even stunningly accomplished, and these images are breathtaking -- unlike anything you've seen before or will see again. And thirdly, yes, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" will become a classic drug movie almost immediately, although the experience is mind-altering enough without any augmentation.