Werner Herzog is an acclaimed (and prolific) film writer and director, known for narrative films like Aguirre, the Wrath of God as well as documentaries like Grizzly Man.
Herzog is known for pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and exploring humanity's extremes.
His newest film is a 3D look into the Chauvet Caves of France, where the oldest known cave paintings exist, practically untouched over thousands of years. Cave of Forgotten Dreams is in theaters now.
JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. Werner Herzog has always been known for pushing film making to its limits. His 60 feature films in 40 years have reveled in humanity at its extremes. From self taught naturalist Timothy Treadwell and the documentary Grizzly Man to crack-crazed madman Nicolas Cage in the crazy and fictional Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. In his latest film, he's found a new human boundary to push: time.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a 3D look into the Chauvet Cave, home of the earliest known cave paintings in the world. With a tiny crew and jury-rigged 3D cameras, Herzog looks at some of the first images ever created. The caves are tightly controlled, only open to tiny groups of researchers approved in advance by the French government. It took Herzog years to obtain the permissions necessary to even bring in a skeleton crew. He takes this rare opportunity not just to present to us the beauty of the caves, and they are amazingly beautiful, but to consider what it means to create and how we define our own humanity. In this clip from the film, a research explains why the cave paintings are tucked so far back in the cave, and Herzog narrates his first look at a painting of a bear.
Werner Herzog, thank you so much for joining me on The Sound of Young America.
WERNER HERZOG: You're very welcome.