If It Was A Bear...

So I dragged my poor boyfriend to see Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man this past weekend in Kendall Square. I had been wanting to see the film ever since I heard Terry Gross’s interview with Herzog on Fresh Air. It’s a fascinating story and a very interesting film that really makes anyone with a conscience wince. Half, if not more, of the movie is hilarious. This is problematic because the story is so tragic, so gut-wrenchingly sad; and so there you are, laughing your ass off at this crazy guy who is giddy at the thought of bear poop while your brain is trying to process the fact that this same loopy, childlike man who claimed to love the bears more than anything else in his world gets mauled and eaten by one of them. And the whole thing gets recorded on tape.

It should be known that this is not a movie about bears. It is a movie about a director’s obsession with a man who likely suffered from severe psychological illness and “dealt” with it by running away to Alaska every summer to “protect” the bears who became his life. It’s a mind-blowing concept to me: living in the backcountry, risking your life for creatures who are unable to show any appreciation. In fact, they eat you in return.

The film captures the eccentricity of the story’s characters, Herzog’s fascination with nature and death, and Treadwell’s stubborn denial that in a balanced, stable ecosystem, death plays a major role. There is also the beauty of the animals and the landscape, captured by Treadwell’s own camerawork.

Link to Treadwell’s non-profit

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My next must-see film is The Baxter which was created by the State and Wet Hot American Summer writers and stars Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd (wearer of the Sex Panther), and Michele Williams (Jen from Dawson’s Creek – need I say more?). The movie has gotten mediocre reviews thus far, but that won’t stop me from calling it the best film I’ve ever seen in this space soon.

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This is an article that was posted on Aug 24, 10:05 PM.

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