The Grizzly Man Diaries

29 08 2008

As a person with a serious case of gallows curiosity, I have to tell you that Timothy Treadwell freaks me out. The idea that this guy was so obsessed, and somewhat psychotic, about Grizzlies has mesmerized me over the years.

Because he was so narcissistic with his cameras (well, before he got eaten by one of his beloved bears) he took hundreds and hundreds of hours of video.

And now it’s a television show. I don’t know if I’ll watch it, but I assume I will check into it, but the whole Grizzly Man thing just gives me the wiggums. Actually the review says that the show is very upfront about the psychological aspect of Treadwell’s life and death.

The LA Times writes this:

Filmmaker Werner Herzog was moved to document Treadwell’s life; his award-winning documentary “Grizzly Man” portrayed a self-aggrandizing, troubled man who, unable to find a place for himself in society, created an alternative existence for himself among the bears.

While “Grizzly Man” is a conscious attempt by Herzog to unravel Treadwell’s psyche, “The Grizzly Man Diaries” simply presents excerpts of the 100 hours of videotape Treadwell shot of the bears and himself during his 13 summers in Alaska. The footage is oftentimes astonishing, the bears ferociously beautiful, but still the show is less a treatise on grizzly habit than it is an exploration of a man trying to find a solid center for himself. With his penchant for baby talk and his Prince Valiant haircut, Treadwell seems an unlikely mountain man. Unlike, say, Steve Irwin, another animal activist who died among the creatures he studied, Treadwell was not a trained scientist or naturalist or formal educator; in “Grizzly Man” it was revealed that he was, among other things, a failed actor who, after spiraling down into drugs and alcohol, found his salvation through the bears.

No wonder Stephen Colbert is afraid of bears.

Personally, I’m afraid of Cave Crickets. You aren’t going to see any Cave Cricket Diaries here though. No bears in the fields of West Tennessee.

In a related note, we are society obsessed with video cameras. I am to as well although I’m still learning.

Just a thought.

Treadwell found the fame he looked for. He’s just not alive to see it.

Photo Credit




5 responses

29 08 2008

Call me when they get to the episode where the bears eat his face off.

29 08 2008
jane q. public

1. I’m fascinated with that movie. Probably for all the wrong reasons.

2. I don’t even like to read the words “cave crickets.” The ones in my basement are so big that you can hear them hopping around when you’re down there.

30 08 2008

Although much of the photography is beautiful I could not watch the entire 30 minute show. Treadwell really troubles me with his cavalier attitude and self proclaimed protection of grizzlys. I did watch the movie and sadly he was portrayed as a hero. He was far from it. He was careless and endangered himself over and over again. That he lived for 13 years before being killed by his so called friends is the only amazing part of the story. It was tragic that his girlfriend chose to go with him and pay with her life also. I am disappointed that Animal Planet has chosen to run anymore of this mans story. He has done nothing positive for the bears in my mind. He put himself and countless others at risk with his stupid behavior. He was a meal waiting to happen….it just took longer than it did. I for one will watch no more of the “diaries” or any other footage of that incredibly stupid man.

3 09 2008

rosie, I’m curious, besides the surface issues you obviously culled from the Grizzly Man movie, do you know anything else about Treadwell or bears? Not that that is your fault, just wondering.

9 09 2008

Rosie, did you actually watch the film? Because the very last thing Walter Herzog portrayed Tim Treadwell as was a Hero. My guess is you’ve read a lot of reviews and accounts of his “story” and your opinions are based off of those.
I don’t think Treadwell was a hero but like many of us he was just trying to find his own way in the world. I do however actually admire his spirit, living in the wild is something I can dream about but would never attempt. Were some of his tacticts foolhardy and unsafe? His death speaks well to that fact. Still, I think there is a lot we can larn from the man and from others like Charlie Russell (he did the PBS special “walking with giants” on his experience of living peacefully with bears) about how to understand bears better and not just dismiss them as ferocious creatures.

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