Friday September 23, 2005

Grizzly Man

[Contributed by Kenneth Cohen]

“Werner Herzog . . . the best post-war director of our times.”

Many of us have read this sort of praise, or others in the like, enough to make us never want to see another Herzog film again, ever. There is definitely something about the kind of hype this man gets that can be irritating and wearisome, enough so that with mostly contemptuous reservations and the quote above weighing on my shoulders I watched Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog’s latest documentary.

To incite you to see this piece, the following information, will hopefully provide just enough of an idea to convey how much can be done with an armor of rigorous conviction.

In October 2003 Timothy Treadwell died while doing what he loved most: living with grizzly bears. Treadwell left behind over 100 hours of footage that he shot over a span of 13 years, while staying –entire summers at a time- in the natural habitat of the grizzly. Herzog takes this footage along with interviews with friends, family, and adversaries, and spins one of the most complex documentaries I personally have ever laid eyes on. What happens in the film is not something I am going to give away but keep in mind that when this film comes to your town, you must find a way to see it, considering how much it applies to the way life is conspicuous and volatile. I can never fully understand any Herzog film in one sitting, yet I usually leave his films having experienced a full range of emotions. Which is what I suppose what makes him the greatest artist of our times.

Grizzly Man
Documentary, 2005.
Director, Werner Herzog; Camera (color, HD video), Peter Zeitlinger; editor, Joe Bini; music, Richard Thompson; sound, Spence Palermo, Ken King; associate producer, Alana Berry. Running time: 103 MIN.

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  1. carlos rigau    Sat Sep 24, 12:33 AM #  

    when is the msgnewness field trip to see this very importent piece of art

  2. harumi    Sat Sep 24, 10:35 AM #  

    I wanna go see it!!!

  3. mr. question    Sat Sep 24, 02:50 PM #  

    where is this playing?

  4. Zak Attak    Sun Sep 25, 09:52 AM #  

    don’t miss this one. i’ve seen it several times already and would have no problems seeing it several more. at the biginning of the film all i wanted to see was a giant grizzly bear eating that sill little blonde boy’s head. however, herzog is able to make me more “huamn” in less than 2 hours. by that point i am scarred of what i might see. almost horrified, and this is coming from someone who wished his little brother was “basket case”! thanx again for the lesson werner.

  5. Miami Harold    Mon Sep 26, 04:24 PM #  

    You shouldn’t lose sight of the fact
    that this movie is the story of a complete fuck-up;
    a singularly moronic specimen of self-delusion
    who believed that somehow,
    communing in the wild with grizzly bears
    could free him from his dangerous narcotic addiction,
    and that the giant creatures were harmless “party animals.”
    His insane antics in the wilderness with these bears
    drove genuine conservationists and nature professionals
    bat-shit apoplexic.
    They tried on numerous occasions to have him removed,
    or at least shut up, but without success.
    Finally, nature took her course, and the bears ate his ass dead.
    The true story is even funnier than Jane Goodall’s.

  6. Alfredo Triff    Mon Sep 26, 04:36 PM #  

    Herzog is one of Germany’s best auteurs. I’ve read of the film and definitely would see it. Let’s hope they show it here.

  7. Sal & Sol    Mon Sep 26, 04:54 PM #  

    You mean “apoplectic,” don’t you, schmuck?

  8. alesh    Mon Sep 26, 05:01 PM #  

    here’s the link to where it’s showing. As I write this, it’s on South Beach, Gateway in Ft. Lauderdale, and a couple of places further north.