Friday, May 24, 2013

Just watch it

"The first time I entered to show the cave, I had a chance to get in during five days; and it was so powerful that every night I was dreaming of lions. And every day was the same shock for me...after five days I decided not to go back because I needed time just to relax and take time to..."

"To absorb it?"

"To absorb it, yeah, yeah."

"And you dreamt not of paintings of lions, but of real lions."

"Of both. Of both, definitely."

"And you were afraid in your dreams."

"I was not afraid. No, no, I was not afraid. It was more...hmm, a feeling of powerful things, and deep things; a way to understand things which is not a direct way."


"Astonishing on this flute, is that it's pentatonic - and this is the same tonality we are used to here today."

Just finished watching Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Just watch it.

So fascinating. A few of the things said by Herzog and interviewed Experts is...whatever; and Herzog is, as ever, all about the Noble Savage, but whatever; and the commentary Herzog makes towards the end of the documentary with the albino alligators/crocodiles is frankly ridiculous nominalism. But a lot of what is said is also very striking and very deep. Think about a cave painting made around thirty thousand years ago, and that painting was added to by another artist five thousand years later - when it was still prehistory. As Herzog said, we are locked in history; they were not.

What the film documents is amazing. The cave paintings took my breath away. Prehistoric "cave men" were not ooga-booga-club-the-woman-and-drag-her-home "cave men". Clearly they were sophisticated, and the painting they did was not some primitive way of passing time, but was religion, not so much in the sense of art as religious ceremony, but in the sense of what the French man gives testimony to in the above quote about the lions.

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