THT to screen Herzog's 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams'

MIDDLEBURY — Town Hall Theater presents the second film in the Great Art Wednesday Series, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Filmmaker Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting. The Chauvet Cave, which contains the earliest known cave paintings, was discovered in 1994 and is considered one of the world’s most significant prehistoric art sites.

For over 20,000 years, the cave has been completely sealed off by a fallen rock face, its crystal-encrusted interior as large as a football field and strewn with the petrified remains of giant ice age mammals. In 1994, scientists discovered the caverns, and found hundreds of pristine paintings within, spectacular artwork dating back over 30,000 years (almost twice as old as any previous finds) to a time when Neanderthals still roamed the earth and cave bears, mammoths, and ice age lions were the dominant populations of Europe.

Since then, only a few people have been allowed access into Chauvet Cave, and the true scope of its contents had largely gone unfelt — until Werner Herzog managed to gain access.

Herzog captures the wonder and beauty of one of the most awe-inspiring sites on earth, all the while musing in his inimitable fashion about its original inhabitants, the birth of art, and the curious people surrounding the caves today. Hundreds of cave paintings depict at least thirteen different species, including horses, cattle, lions, panthers, bears, rhinos and even hyenas. The artists used techniques not often seen in other cave art, making the Chauvet Cave an important record of Paleolithic life in all of its savage detail.

Tickets are $13/ $8 students and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, by calling 802-382-9222, at the THT box office Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m., or at the door one hour before show time. The Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S. Pleasant St. in Middlebury.


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Addison County Independent