Monday, June 18, 2012

The Earliest Cinema

European Cave Art!

According to Open Culture, Marc Azéma came up with the idea that paintings in Paleolithic caves are the first sequential art (think flip books). Others compare these 30,000 year-old cave paintings that dot the European continent to comics (think panel-to-panel visuals).

In 2010, the award-winning filmmaker, Werner Herzog, created a 3-D documentary entitled The Cave of Forgotten Dreams where
Herzog gained extraordinary permission to film the caves using lights that emit no heat. But Herzog being Herzog, this is no simple act of documentation. He initially resisted shooting in 3D, then embraced the process, and now it’s hard to imagine the film any other way. Just as Lascaux left Picasso in awe, the works at Chauvet are breathtaking in their artistry. The 3D format proves essential in communicating the contoured surfaces on which the charcoal figures are drawn. Beyond the walls, Herzog uses 3D to render the cave’s stalagmites like a crystal cathedral and to capture stunning aerial shots of the nearby Pont-d’Arc natural bridge.
Herzog confirms Azéma's idea. "Woolly mammoths are depicted in eight different phases, as if they were frames in an animated film." When Herzog says it, one of the greatest filmmakers in the world, the idea fills one's head with wonder at the creativity, resiliency, and genius of Paleolithic man. If you get a chance to see Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3-D, take it.

Do you think comics are evolutionary in nature? Do you believe that reading and writing started with pictures to convey meaning? Why do we, as a people, love visual texts like comics, television, and movies?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, i think they are evolutionary to nature. I believe that reading and writing do start with images. For example, a writer getting an idea from a dream he had or from a place he visited. Like way back then when they used to write with images and it evolved to words. We people love to see visual texts because it helps us understand it better for example, when there's an action scene you don't just want to see the words "POW!" You want to be able to actually see it and experience it.