9.3.06

Grizzly Man


I recently saw the documentary "Grizzly Man", directed by Werner Herzog (of famous Herzog/Kinski partnership). It tells the tragic story of Timothy Treadwell, wannabe celebrity (apparently narrowly missed out on the role of Woody in Cheers), bear lover and nutcase. After spending 13 consecutive summers in a bear community in Alaska (living in a tent very close to wild bears), was found killed and eaten by the bears he believed he was protecting. His girlfriend suffered the same fate. Their remains were removed from the bear's stomach after it was found and shot.
The bear conservationists felt that Treadwell was actually doing more damage and on many occasions tried to get rid of him. He also received criticism from people who believed he was only doing this for celebrity status. He recorded hours and hours of footage (used by Herzog to make the documentary) of himself discussing the bears and also talking about his private life. Prior to living with bears he suffered from alcoholism and was probably a manic depressive before finding "a life" with the bears. He had some grandiose ideas believing he was put on earth to save bears and believed that he found ways to communicate with them. He often came dangerously close to the bears. He wasn't like someone you might imagine living with wild animals-he was quite feminine (possibly closet gay), loud, and had a stupid blond Prince Valiant hair style.
He did love the bears, he even slept with teddy bears. Did he have a bear fetish? In one scene he touches steaming female bear shit and seems to get a kick out of it. He didn't make much money but gave talks at schools, published a book and even appeared on The Letterman show. In a clip David Letterman jokingly asks him something like "so, are we going to hear one day that you've been eaten by bears?" little knowing that exactly that would happen.
He managed to last 13 seasons among wild bears until one day the bears probably decided they had had enough of this weirdo. But maybe it wasn't such a sad ending to Treadwell, he did end up inside a bear, unfortunately it wasn't in the way he wanted but as bear shit.
Also see http://outside.away.com/outside/news/200401/200401_blood_brothers_1.html and film review at Rotten Tomatoes.

5 comments:

nico said...

I'm looking forward to this coming to South Africa. I really enjoyed his other movies, Aguirre and Kaspar Hauser.

BTW, has Manderlay started playing in London yet? Have you seen it?

tinus said...

Manderlay started playing in London 3 March to mixed reviews so far. Playing in selected cinemas only. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't seen Dogville so Manderlay will have to wait.

If you're a Herzog fan also see Fitzcarraldo. Better yet buy the Herzog/Kinski DVD box set.

b said...

Nice review. I read that Robert Altman is directing some play showing in London. Unfavourable reviews. Same for Jeremy Irons' play. Are you going to watch either?

tinus said...

I was tempted to see those shows but in the end decided not to. I'm waiting for shows with A-list actors. I'm VERY excited about seeing The Knife in April though.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Where you get this guestbook? I want the same script.. Awesome content. thankyou.
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