Grizzly Man, a terrific documentary

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Stephen_L, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Stephen_L

    Stephen_L Supporting Actor

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    Saw "Grizzly Man" at the Charles a couple days ago and was really floored by the story of this strange, manic, sad man Timothy Treadwell, a failed, alcoholic actor who recreated himself as a "protector" of the grizzly bears of Katmai, Alaska. After spending thirteen summers with the bears, he and his girlfriend were ultimately mauled and eaten by a grizzly. Most of the film is Treadwells own video footage. Some is stunning wildlife photography, much is video of Treadwell himself in all his messianic, delusional glory. He is clearly deeply troubled, but you cannot resist his sincerity or deny his admiration for these magnificent animals. Ultimately what is sad is that his 'mission' harmed the bears he loved. The bear that killed him was shot. And experts in the film reveal that by acclimating the bears to the presence of humans makes the bears less fearful and bolder in future human contacts, endangering them and the people they may encounter.

    My only complaint in an otherwise terrific film, is some small anthropomorphizing touches by Werner Herzog. Clearly Treadwell treated the bears like "people in bear suits", attributing human character to these creatures. Herzog commits the same fallacy, saying that male bears kill cubs so they can commit "fornication" with females, and describing the universe as "murderous", again attributing human motives to non-human nature.

    If you haven't seen this film, make the drive to check it out! ****/*****
     
  2. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I want to see this, but it's playing at a single theater in Seattle and with current gas prices I can't see justifying the ticket price, parking, and gas cost at this time. Too bad, because I really love Werner Herzog and this look terrific.
     
  3. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    wow too bad only 2 posts on this movie.

    just a mind boggling thing to see this guy walking and talking right to these bears.

    comes onto dvd dec 26th.

    take a look at it.
     
  4. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I'm absolutely getting this DVD, because as I stated before I love Herzog.[​IMG]
     
  5. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    Herzog did a great job getting Treadwell's material down to a haunting couple of hours that will stick with me, but less interjection from him would have been nice.

    Herzog's conclusions about Treadwell seemed too broad and condescending (to Timothy and us). It may be that Treadwell was coming unhinged out there, but it can't be known from the innocent venting we see in what was supposed to be his personal video diary.

    He was probably wrong to fight the park service, but he wasn't necessarily as crazy as he's made to look.
     
  6. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    Well, on the TV show (Dateline?) that did a segment on Treadwell, he seemed pretty damn over the edge to me, and Herzog almost always never treads a middle ground. You will get what he feels.
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Exactly, Herzog is not a filmmaker who just stands back. His vison is an integral part of each of his films. Stephen, if you view Burden of Dreams or other Herzog docs, you will get his view of nature as a place of destruction holding malice for humanity.

    And I agree that Tim looked to have long ago passed into "wackoland", though of course through his own eyes he was perfectly normal. And one of the things the film says is that as much as we'd like to think that we understand a person and define their lives in ways that comfort us or conform to our own personal viewpoints; we never can truly know what makes another person tick. Even their own words and images can lie or present a fabricated image of what a person wants to show others.

    This is the best film I've seen this year. And yet, in typical fashion, it isn't even under consideration for a documentary Oscar. [​IMG]

    Herzog has had quite a year, also releasing another highly thought of film, The White Diamond. I haven't had a chance to see that one yet.
     
  8. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    Life is easier if one can disregard the Oscars.
     
  9. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    And that becomes my own mantra around the time the nominations are announced...

    Scored quite a few gift certificates and will be picking up GRIZZLY MAN![​IMG]
     
  10. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    And one of the best I've seen too. [​IMG] (Just got done watching the DVD.)

    The White Diamond is also pretty good - check it out!
     
  11. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    Incredible film and one of Herzog's best documentaries. It ranks right up there with 'Even Dwarves Started Small.'

    What a sad story of a complex, troubled, gentle soul. I can't tell whether Treadwell was a narcisstic poseur with a death wish or a heroic martyr. But then again, maybe that's the point.
     
  12. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I just wanted to make those aware who may be interested, that The Discovery Channel will be showing this film tonight, Friday Feb 3 at 8PM
     
  13. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Wow! They must be bleeping the heck out of it considering how much Treadwill cursed in his video.
     
  14. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    I just finished watching this on DVD and I have to wonder, how in the hell did the Academy not nominate this for Documentary? They should be ashamed of themselves.

    Fascinating and unsettling movie to watch. The balls Timothy Treadwell had to do this!

    I agree with Roger Ebert about the audiotape of the last moments of Tim and Aime's lives. It's far more effective to not hear it and imagine than to actually hear it. That was the best part of the movie for me.

    For some reason, when the scene where Timothy touchs the bear poop, it reminded me of Jurassic Park when Malcolm comes upon the huge pile of dino shit. Made me laugh.

    If only Timothy hadn't argued with the Air Alaska clerk, if only.....
     
  15. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    Treadwell was a nut case. And his behavior will only encourage more death-wish nut cases to come to Alaska to "commune with nature."

    Great documentary, but I fear it will only popularize this kind of behavior in the minds of people who are close to being nut cases themselves.

    We spend too much time, here in Alaska, rescuing, babysitting, and scraping up after people who were ill-prepared for the realities of life off the grid.
     
  16. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I wonder whether the film would have been better regarded if someone other than Herzog had done the voiceover. He's interesting as a filmmaker, but not as an actor (which is what good voiceover requires, IMO). I've seen only three of the nominated documentaries (Darwin's Nightmare, Enron, March of the Penguins), and I'd certainly rank Grizzly Man above Penguins -- but Penguins had Morgan Freeman. [​IMG]

    M.
     
  17. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

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    I happened upon this while flipping channels and I still cannot bring myself to watch this. Just knowing how it turns out taints every scene that I watch. After 10 mins, I had to change the channel.
     
  18. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    how's that?
     
  19. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

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    I mean that I cannot get out of my head knowing how the movie will end. I only watched a little scene he had with some foxes and Mr. Chocolate or w/e cutesy name he gave the bear. I couldn't watch the movie without feeling a little queasy. It's like watching a snuff film to me.
     
  20. Lucy Ash

    Lucy Ash Auditioning

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    I thought the film dealt with the issue of his death with typical aplomb. It was present throughout the documentary so there's no sense of 'leading up to it'. The scene where Herzog 'listens' whilst Jewel watches his face was just heartbreaking. And dealt tastefully with what could have been overly sentimental or sensationalist.

    Mind you, was it just me or was the coroner a completely bizarre man to watch?
     

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