Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man, opening in movie theatres tomorrow, sounds creepy-fascinating. Herzog acquired the footage of a would-be documentarian of giant Alaskan grizzlies, and framed it with Herzogian narration and editing. From Village Voice writer Michael Atkinson's description, the bear guy sounds like a cross between Jane Goodall and the football-throwing damaged specimen in Napoleon Dynamite. Atkinson says the film awkwardly captures the essential contradictions between the naively nature-loving filmmaker, eventually killed by the bears he filmed, and Herzog, who as anyone who has heard his monologue about the jungle in Burden of Dreams knows, sees the natural world as an arena of grinding implacable forces. The footage included audio of the bear-lover and his girlfriend being killed, but the audience is mercifully spared it--other than to watch Herzog listening to it and then ordering an assistant to destroy it. I can already visualize that scene; not to take anything away from the tragedy, but Herzog is so serious he cracks me up, as he says, "against my better judgment."

- tom moody 8-12-2005 12:35 am

Of course there is nothing as compelling as a wild animal attack story! Grizzly Man is pretty good. I don't wish to offend anyone, but Treadwell is undeniably the most irritating person I've ever seen on film. I could hardly stand to watch it, the guy is such a flipping idiot, but his particular brand of stupidity/insanity hits close to home. I've been thinking about the story ever since. Herzog's take is brilliant, in that megalomaniacal grand narrative way of his.
- sally mckay 8-12-2005 12:50 am

that particular scene where he orders the documentation destroyed pissed me off a great deal. I can't imagine how someone who makes documentary films for a living could ever suggest the destruction of any documentation.

as for the rest of the film, I suppose it was ok. except for the fact that herzog made everything seem very staged.
- JonBro (guest) 8-12-2005 9:01 pm

Sal, have you ever met Troy Hurtubes, star of the movie Project Grizzly? (after all, he is a scientist)
- L.M. 8-13-2005 1:43 am

Explanatory link.
- tom moody 8-13-2005 2:12 am

I should have provided one of those link things, thanks Tom. Hurtubes comes across as a meth crazed pompous ass, so I am really interested in seeing that Treadwell doc. (and I have always loved Herzog)
- L.M. 8-13-2005 3:00 am

His name makes me think of Heurtebise, the Princess' chauffeur in Cocteau's Orphée. I found this great line of his on IMDb: "I am letting you into the secret of all secrets, mirrors are gates through which death comes and goes. Moreover if you see your whole life in a mirror you will see death at work as you see bees behind the glass in a hive."
- tom moody 8-13-2005 3:16 am

Wow. cool quote!

I haven't met Hurtubes. There is some similarity betwen him and Treadwell. Hurtubes is kidding himself about the ultimate macho test, staring the "old man" in the eye and not backing down. Treadwell is kidding himself that he is can become a bear and be accepted as one of them. Dominate nature versus back to nature: Ulltimately, maybe, it amounts to the same darn thing: guys who are one brick short of a load imposing themselves on big animals.
- sally mckay 8-13-2005 4:57 pm

reminds me of the records of richard proenneke's alaska wilderness experience "one mans wilderness" the book and "alone in the wilderness" a documentary film employing proenneke's edited journal entries and soundless 16 mm footage w/ some one else narrating in his words. in this man vs elements saga man builds strong cabin by hand and thwarts bear at the door with a few packed in tools, strong building materials and good primitive design.
- bill 8-13-2005 6:28 pm

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