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Old July 23rd, 2006, 08:27 PM   #1
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"Grizzly Man" Re-runs

Today, July 23, at 8 pm to 11 pm, PDT, Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man" is being re-run on the SD Discovery Channel. It may be on at different times in other time zones. It also runs later tonight at 12 am to 3 am (July 24). This movie and the activities of its featured performer were discussed extensively on this forum a few months ago.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #2
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I would prefer that I didn't have make this statement, but I started to watch
this "documentary" and my mind is now completely made up that
Tim Treadwell was a ego centric idiot (to put it lightly).

His "love" of bears had NOTHING to do with helping them (except into a grave),
and as predicted from hearing about this flick, he not
only got himself killed, but the bear who attacked him too.
(Wasn't his girlfriend killed too? I turned it off after the
yahoos went into a shooting rampage and killed the
bear whose territory Mr. Treadwell had invaded.)

Treadwell's movie is ALL about his enormous ego and
proving to anyone who'll listen that he is
"like a samurai warrior" and that he can face off with any bear,
and armed with his gigantic and ill placed bravado, he'll 'win'.

He and Herzog somehow try to justify his effort in making the bears
tolerant of humans as having a positive benefit for this endangered
population by educating people about them. This is SO wrong.

It makes me **sick** to think that this man could make his way onto
David Letterman's TV show, thereby impelling another dozen copycat
losers with big b*lls and tiny brains to try the same thing.

The predictable result has been and will be more maulings, dead bears,
tormented families and friends.

Please, do not go out and try to make large predators tolerant of humans.
It can only lead to them being killed.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #3
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There was definitely some mental illness in Treadwell and it is actually to Werner Herzog's CREDIT that he allowed it to show on screen. By criticizing Herzog you are really missing the genius behind this documentary. Herzog used Treadwell's own considerable ego and character to present a bare portrait, as bare as any. What do you expect? A warning telling everyone who sees this not to go out and play with the bears? Obviously, Treadwell and his girlfriend's fate let's us know what foolishness his quest is. But like all portraits it must also be sympathetic because Treadwell is obviously in love with the animals to the extraction of his own safety, of good sense and of the needs of others. He is mad but beautiful mad. The film allows us to see Treadwell on good days, bad days, lucid days and crazy days. It shows us people who love him and people who knew he was headed toward a bad end.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:28 AM   #4
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I guess there are two sides to every coin Keith. Yes, Herzog
"paints a nice portrait" . . . that is one side of this coin.
Treadwell is not a horrible evil person . . . in fact he is
jovial and upbeat and _very_ enthusiastic to the layman.
That is a problem IMO.

The other side reminds me of films that 'educate' folks about
the KKK, Nazis, Radical Islamists, and other hate groups.
The fact is that some large percentage of the audience will
be influenced (many times against the filmmakers' wishes)
to go over to the 'dark side' and imitate what
they see. As Mick Jagger once said, "Any press is good press".

IMO, although all of these topics make interesting and
profitable/saleable films, is the final result of true merit?
Was/is "Grizzley Man" a good thing for the bears?
Or, does it promote (and somehow condone?) some type of abhorrent
activity like, "Birth of a Nation"?

<A warning telling everyone who sees this not to go out and play with the bears?>

There should be a very serious and heartfelt warning
at the beginning, middle and end to tell people that
Mr. Treadwell made a HUGE mistake/dis-service to the bears he says he
loves by lowering their tolerence to humans and thereby putting those
very bears in a grave.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #5
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Jacques, are you actually a filmmaker? Because I wonder through what filter you are watching this film. This is not an educational film for impressionable children, it is a complex portrait of a man who is obviously not right in the head. If you think otherwise then you must have found it misfiled in the wrong section of the video store.

Now, you are equating it with films that pump up political extremists? You know, I went to bed thinking, this could be the quickest thread to invoke Godwin's rule and you just did it. Wonderful.

"Grizzly Man", which you admit not finishing, is fascinating because it is about someone who is most obviously off his rocker. It does not, as you say, advocate that it is a right thing to run after bears in the hopes they will love you back. In fact it gives voice to this criticism when Herzog interviews people who question Treadwell's character and his tactic. Did you miss the part where the parks official says basically what you are saying about how bears were becoming too used to people because of Treadwell? Did you miss the part where the coroner describes in gory detail what happened to Treadwell and his poor girlfriend? Did you turn the film off before Herzog listens to the sound of Treadwell and his girlfriend's death?

All these things was not something hidden in the movie or only a minority part of it. Herzog returns again and again to what must be the audience view which is that it is crazy to expose oneself to dangerous carnivores. Herzog himself says that he is frightened to be out in the wilderness.

And where is this 'hate'? Treadwell may be dangerously insane but he obviously loved these bears. To compare this film to one that glorifies 'Radical Islamists' or the 'KKK' is completely laughable.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #6
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The issue is that in the broadcasting of this story, and despite
all possible warnings, disasterous results, descriptions of ripped up
carcasses, etc., this film will most
likely spawn more than one copycat who will go out and
cause harm.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #7
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Anyone who sees this film, sees Treadwell and his girlfriend's fate and still thinks it is a good idea to go out and meet the bears deserves to meet the same fate.

Treadwell himself didn't need to see "Grizzly Man" to go out and get himself killed, he just had the idea all on his own due to his mental imbalance.

Jacques, perhaps you should advocate the banning of every Disney, Hanna Barbera cartoon, Jehova Witness tract that shows people coexisting with friendly joyful wild animals. These are surely aimed at impressionable people (and children) and none of them contain warnings suggesting that it is not a good idea to go petting wolves, bears or deer. Certainly none of them show what happens to people in reality who do so.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #8
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Mr. Treadwell was helping bears, and animals in general, the same way the dog lovers who get pit bulls and others, then train them to be mean, attack, mame, and kill people or other animals. Then they wonder why people don't like them or want their kids around them!??!?!?!?

Look at who walks down the street with that big mean dog, wearing that spiked collar and that heavy chain leash. Do they love dogs and animals? No, it is there ego and the persuit of power that drives them.
The dog or the bear is just a tool!!!

JMHO

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Old July 25th, 2006, 01:41 PM   #9
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I would also like to say that I am not in favor of banning anything
or censorship. Far from it as I believe ideas need to be broadcast.
That said, not all ideas are good ideas and our culture has veered
in the direction of good ideas and bad ideas being placed side by
side and given equal status.

What I am trying to do is influence those nature documentary
filmmakers on this list (and other lurkers) to *think* about
the messages embedded in their art. IMO, the universal end goal
being that of showcasing nature's beauty to make people love it
so that they wll preserve it.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 01:07 AM   #10
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I might as well weigh in...

My wife rents movies without reading reviews - or even the back of the box alot of the time - She and my 9 year old adventurer son brought the show home and had started watching it when I came in and told them that the show was about a 'whack job' who tries to befriend grizzles and gets eaten by one. She thought I was exaggerating until eventually she realized he was a nut.

Herzog to me is sympathetic to a egocentric moron who was unable to do any 'acting' in the real world so he became an isolationist idiot. Who videotaped himself in extremely dangerous and irresponsible encounters.

We had a German woman tourist killed by a black bear in BC a couple of years ago because she saw a mother and 2 cubs going into the bushes and she followed them in to take a picture. At the time there was discussion about how bears are viewed in mainsrteam media as 'friendly' (Yogi bear, Teddy bears).

The fact that Treadwell survived as long as he did in such close proximity to these massive carnivores could lead some to believe that if you just a little more careful - it could be possible.

I really didn't want my son to watch the movie because we live in an area where bear encounters can occur, and I sure don't want him to think that it's concievable to establish a relationship with them.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #11
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Darwin Award

I have heard that Mr. Treadwell won the Darwin Award with bonus points for removing himself and his friend from the gene pool, thereby benefiting all of humanity. An exemplary achievement, and a job well done.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau
I would also like to say that I am not in favor of banning anything
or censorship. Far from it as I believe ideas need to be broadcast.
That said, not all ideas are good ideas and our culture has veered
in the direction of good ideas and bad ideas being placed side by
side and given equal status.

What I am trying to do is influence those nature documentary
filmmakers on this list (and other lurkers) to *think* about
the messages embedded in their art. IMO, the universal end goal
being that of showcasing nature's beauty to make people love it
so that they wll preserve it.

This was not a nature documentary. In many of his films, Herzog examines the thin line between sanity and madness---and Grizzly is another example of that. Herzog often places characters with enormous egos in nature and watches what happens.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 11:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence Hyland
I have heard that Mr. Treadwell won the Darwin Award with bonus points for removing himself and his friend from the gene pool, thereby benefiting all of humanity. An exemplary achievement, and a job well done.
I do think he was an idiot, but Im not going to celebrate his death.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mintzer
Herzog often places characters with enormous egos in nature and watches what happens.
that's a really good point. herzog is often putting his own giant ego into nature and watching what happens as well...the results are not always pretty, as the controversies around "fitzcarraldo" attest....

after sitting with this discussion for awhile on the other thread, i still think that if treadwell had quit after 12 years of this, instead of going into it for a 13th year--and if he controlled his own output instead of herzog having editorial control--we'd be talking about how amazing his footage is, rather than discussing his character....more along the lines of "winged migration," "being caribou" or cousteau's ocean adventure where the filmmaker rides the fin of a great white shark.

remember those old "wild kingdom" episodes where marlon perkins is riding around in the helicopter while "jim" is out there grabbing close-ups of cheetahs downing antelopes? i wonder whatever happened to jim? what a revolutionary in the field that guy was....no doubt he was the "idiot" of his generation.....
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Old August 7th, 2006, 02:09 PM   #15
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I watched the rest of Grizzly Man the other night.

I could not help but think that had someone come along
(who Treadwell respected and who had the right credentials) could have
sat him down and had a very serious heart to heart with Tim that maybe
things could have turned out better than the disaster he created.

Treadwell had (IMO) super huge ***LOW self-esteem*** issues,
worthless life syndrome and sexual identity problems.
All of these mental problems manifested in his doing what
he did in the way he did it. A shrink would have had a field
day with this dude.

That said, the "cool" images he recorded of his humanizing of the fox family,
touching the bears, etc. will only influence others to follow his
BAD example.
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