segunda-feira, janeiro 26, 2009

Grizzly Man 11/11

Grizzly Man is a 2005 documentary film by German director Werner Herzog. It chronicles the life and death of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. The film consists of Treadwell's own footage of his interactions with grizzly bears before he and his girlfriend were killed and partially ingested by a bear in 2003, and of interviews with people who knew or were involved with Treadwell. The footage he shot was later found, and the final film was co-produced by Discovery Docs, the Discovery Channel's theatrical documentary unit and Lions Gate Films. The film's soundtrack is by British singer songwriter and guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson.

Timothy Treadwell spent thirteen summers in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Over time, he believed he was trusted by the bears, who would allow him to approach them and sometimes even touch them. Treadwell was repeatedly warned by park officials that his interaction with the bears was unsafe to both him and to the bears. "At best he's misguided." Deb Liggett, superintendent at Katmai and Lake Clark national parks, told the Anchorage Daily News in 2001. "At worst, he's dangerous. If Timothy models unsafe behavior, that ultimately puts bears and other visitors at risk." Treadwell filmed his exploits, and used the films to raise public awareness of the problems faced by bears in North America. In 2003, at the end of his thirteenth visit, he and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were attacked, killed, and eaten by a bear.

For Grizzly Man, Herzog used sequences extracted from over 100 hours of video footage shot by Treadwell during the last five years of his life, and conducted interviews with Treadwell's family and friends, as well as bear and nature experts. Herzog also narrates, and offers his own interpretations of the events. In his narration, he depicts Treadwell as a disturbed man who may have had a death wish toward the end of his life, but also refuses to condemn him for this.

The film refers to an audio recording of the fatal attack, captured by Treadwell's video camera, and although Herzog is shown listening to it on earphones clearly disturbed, it is not played in the film. In fact, Herzog advises the owner of the tape, Jewel Palovak, an ex-girlfriend of Treadwell who held onto the tape but refused to ever listen to it, to destroy it immediately. There are many fake audio recordings of Tim and Amy's death on the internet and here on youtube, the original tape was destroyed in 2006, and no known copies exist. Any audio of this incident you may find on the internet is a fake. I have even come across fake video parodies of their death's, some people are just so disrespectful of the dead, I believe many of those people are either animal haters and/or left/right-wing nuts who couldn't accomplish half of what Tim did in two lifetimes.

Charlie Russell, who has studied bears for 42 years, lived with them and raised them for a decade in Kamchatka, and corresponded with Timothy Treadwell, wrote of Herzog:

"Herzog is a skillful filmmaker so a large percentage of those who watch the movie Grizzly Man, overlook Timothy's amazing way with animals even though to me this stands out very strongly. The fact that Timothy spent an incredible 35000 hours, spanning 13 years, living with the bears in Katmai National Park, without any previous mishap, escapes people completely. Even with his city-kid background, I found myself mesmerized by what he could do with animals. Most people now see him only the way Herzog skillfully wanted his audience to see him; as an idiot who continually crossed nature's line, what ever that means. Perhaps, in his mind, nature's line is something behind which bears and other nasty things reside who will inevitably kill you if you go there without a gun. He takes everything Timothy stood for and turned it 180°, the result which he then weaves into his own unsophisticated agenda."

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