Thursday, September 15, 2005

I saw Grizzly Man a week or so ago, and never got around to sharing my opinion. I would recommend the film. Timothy Treadwell is an interesting, crazy person, and the film seemed a fair assessment. It sounded like he was a troubled young man in his early years, and sobered up to spend 13 years with the bears he felt he was bonding with, and he was happy, and I don't believe his presence really harmed the bears by desensitizing them to humans or anything. But I agree with Herzog, that in all the footage he shows, while Treadwell believes he's connecting to the bears, I never see any suggestion of anything beyond bored indifference in the bear's reaction to him. He did seem to bond with some foxes, though (which provides some amazing footage). Treadwell's story is fascinating, and while much of Herzog's commentary is obvious and somewhat uninspired, he is uniquely suited to appreciate Treadwell the filmmaker, and he goes into some depth regarding this aspect, that would most likely have been overlooked by another filmmaker (I was especially amused by a long scene in which Treadwell rants against the park service, while Herzog's commentary obliquely leads one to link Treadwell the actor to Herzog's old nemesis Klaus Kinsky). All in all, the subject matter is riviting, Herzog expands the argument to fit nicely with the exploration of nature and art in his other films, and the cinematography (in particular Treadwell's own work) is beautiful. I'd recommend it.

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