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Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 01:24PM
This was a documentary on the Discovery Channel. It happened to be on after a show I was listening to while cleaning. I never intended to watch the entire thing. After the first few minutes, it got the best of me & I stayed up way too late just to watch it.

If any of you did watch it, what did you think?

At the same time I think this guy was unbelievably foolish for how he behaved with the bears, I really found myself admiring him for what he was trying to accomplish.


It's on again tonight, in case you missed it.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 26, 2006 01:30PM
I caught a few minutes before the unbearable urge to drop in a DVD overcame me..


Admiration for what he was trying to accomplish AND thinking he was a damn fool for playing with bears are not mutually exclusive.


I might tivo it...



Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

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Eureka, CA
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 01:32PM
yeah, tivo it. It was quite a story...and very LOOOOONG. It was certainly an interesting glimpse into this guy's psyche.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: February 26, 2006 01:37PM
Admiration for what? As one native of the area that this narcissistic fool failed actor was hanging around in said "what's the big deal about this white guy living amongst the bears part time for 15 years? we've been living amongst the bears for thousands of years, it's just that we know enough not to get into each other's way".

Exactly what was this guy accomplishing? He's a failed actor who needed a gimmick to become famous and this was his way.



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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: February 26, 2006 01:49PM
It was a great story Snakey, I have it recorded if you need to see it again.

BGnR
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 01:56PM
guitarman - admiration for the fact that, in his mind, he was helping to protect the bears. Like I said, I felt he was incredibly foolish in his methodology.


Let's put it this way, it's pretty much the same way I feel about people who try to protect snakes. There are foolish people who would handle rattlesnakes with their bear hands, thinking they could somehow keep such wild animals from killing them. There are others who take a more sane & scientific approach - handling the snakes with snake hooks. Both of these types of people have the same goal - to help the animals they're studying.

What's not to admire?


This guy did something he felt was worth dying over - touching and "befriending" wild animals. It's not something I particularly agree with, but it was what he wanted...and for 10+ years, he succeeded. And even though he died, he left behind some incredible footage & photos. Quite a legacy, IMO (even if the guy had a couple of screws loose).
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 01:58PM
BGnR, thanks for the offer. My parents only have over the air channels & I bet this is something my mom would love to watch.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: February 26, 2006 02:04PM
This is a great story about a self absorbed person who had a strong and tragic need for attention. Bittered by not making it as an actor in LA...found a nich where he could become famous.

This guy was a self anointed "hero" in an area that was a reserve for these animals. The locals clearly stated that poaching was not a big problem in this area. Sure, there are always going to be morons who throw things at animals..as depicted in the film, He didn't do a damn thing about that.

the guy was constantly heaping praise on himself in the most irritating, self absorbed and egotistical way...."Grizzly 2004 and im here saving these animals, im the only one doing this...fk all the other people with cameras, fk the rangers trying to kick me out, fk em, fk em"



tragic and sad and he got perhaps, what he wanted, or, what he deserved.

Man putting his hand into places that doesn't need to be...the foxes were cute, but hey, he was disrupting an ecosystem and shouldn't have been there inflicting himself on these animals.

Also, his unwillingness to leave caused the death of his "girlfriend" at the time...she didnt want to stay in the moments just before this rogue bear ate them. They had actually left and HE decided that they HAD to go back.

I felt extremely uncomfortable watching this arrogant person's antics and borish behaviour. My kids watched this with me ( we rented it a coupld of weeks ago) and their reaction was exactly the same...they couldn't watch him after awhile because it was embarrassing to actually believe that this person was trying to foist himself off as a scientific mind or a conservationist...he was out for fame.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2006 02:10PM by Kraniac.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: February 26, 2006 02:12PM
Don't get me wrong. The documentary itself was brilliant. But it wasn't his product. It was the director's work that made this so compelling to watch.



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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 02:22PM
Did you watch the documentary, Kraniac?

They certainly didn't gloss over the fact he was self absorbed.

But, what ALSO wasn't glossed over was that he truly cared about the bears. & I think that's the point being missed.

Yeah, he bucked conventional protocol on how to interact with wildlife, paid the price, etc. but he did accomplish something. Like I said, the footage & photographs they showed were really incredible. That's quite a legacy in itself.

More importantly, though, the message I got out of it (and which is something that's largely missing in our society) is that wildlife is something that should be respected and preserved...rather than indiscriminately killed just because we fear it.

About poaching - the documentary did mention that controversy. The year after he was killed, a half dozen bears were poached in the preserve. BUT, in the years he was there, no bears were poached.

Of course, that doesn't PROVE that it was his presence and protection that saved the bears. I really would like to see some objective analysis of that topic, though.

As for:

"Also, his unwillingness to leave caused the death of his "girlfriend" at the time...she didnt want to stay in the moments just before this rogue bear ate them. They had actually left and HE decided that they HAD to go back."

Can you point me to some info on this? There was nothing mentioned about them going leaving & then going back just before being eaten.

What they DID say was that she was fighting back while HE was telling her to get the hell out of there. They made it sound as if SHE stayed in that obviously hopeless situation by her own freewill. It didn't sound as if she were forced by him to stay there.

Again, there are always two sides to every story & I always like to see both sides.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 02:24PM
"Don't get me wrong. The documentary itself was brilliant. But it wasn't his product. It was the director's work that made this so compelling to watch."

I agree with you completely. Keep in mind though, the footage used was Timothy Treadwell's & was pretty spectacular. I'm glad the director was able to create such an incredible piece out of it.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: February 26, 2006 02:27PM
I was just editing the commercials out for your parents Snakey, It was six bears in ONE Month!
Also, the GF was no naive little girl, she was 37 years old, it was her third trip.

Also, Alaska is a rats nest of poaching, don't believe all the government propaganda.

BGnR
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: February 26, 2006 02:28PM
Much of what is known of Timothy Treadwell's early life is documented by Treadwell himself. Treadwell characterized himself as an aspiring actor, recovering alcoholic, drug addict, and eco-warrior. According to his personal accounts, he became involved with drugs after failing to gain the role won by Woody Harrelson in the sitcom Cheers. Treadwell claimed to his parents that he was second-choice for the role, which has not been factually proven.

Treadwell's methods were controversial among authorities and public alike. He named many of the bears he encountered and developed such a close relationship with several of them that he could safely touch them.

Many wildlife experts objected to his methods, believing that his attitude toward the bears was too cavalier and that he dangerously anthropomorphized them. Experts also believe that he inadvertently endangered the animals by habituating them to humans, thus increasing the likelihood of dangerous encounters in the future. His death by bear attack is seen by some as a natural conclusion of his methods of interacting with bears.

His critics also note that while Treadwell believed that he was protecting bears, control experts have stated that incidents of poaching in the area were low and did not affect the population level. However, according to the "Grizzly People" organization he founded, five bears were poached in the year after his death, while none had been poached while he was present in Katmai [1].


[en.wikipedia.org]



In an interview with the director:

Question: Before Treadwell's death, he was perceived by some as a naïve crackpot who ignored basic safety precautions. There's the scene in the film in which he wades in his underwear into a river where a grizzly is swimming. He reaches out and pats the bear as it gets out of the water, and the bear snaps back. What do you think made him want to get so close to grizzlies?

Answer: We can only guess. But I think being near the bears and believing in his role — which was largely fictitious, that he was needed to protect the bears — probably redeemed him from his demons. He was haunted by demons. He had been heavily into alcohol, had a near fatal overdose of heroin. Probably he needed the bears and the presence of the bears more than the bears needed him. Because if I protect bears, I would not protect them from 6 feet. I would go out to the bay, where the planes and boats are landing, and chase them off. In his 100 hours of footage and in my film, over and over he tells the bears how much he loves them. He repeats and repeats and repeats it. I think you should not love the bear, you should respect the bear and stay away.

Q: In the film, the curator of the museum in Kodiak says just that.

A: He's an Aleut. He's in both cultures, a native who grew up in a small village on Kodiak Island, but he holds a PhD from Harvard. He says that, since time immemorial, we respect the bear and we keep our distance, and it would be a disservice to the bear to step close. It's a lack of respect, a lack of understanding the boundaries of your humanness and the bearness of the bear.


[www.latimes.com]










Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2006 02:32PM by Guitarman.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: February 26, 2006 02:31PM
Stephanie thank you for bringin this up again. . .my post last night got off track because of my use of "holla'"


I have it replaytved. . . .and it is being rebroadcast today. . .I think. . .so I haven't seen it But from what I've heard and from clips that I've seen. . .his friends/families described him as having problems. . .

. . .sad that he convinced his girlfriend of the "safety" of doing what he was doing and she paid the ultimate price as well. . .



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 02:36PM
Good find, guitarman. I read that myself last night.

This is what bugs me the most: "Experts also believe that he inadvertently endangered the animals by habituating them to humans, thus increasing the likelihood of dangerous encounters in the future."

That's a mistake too many people make. When I was in Yellowstone in 2004, we got stuck in a traffic jam (yeah, in the middle of the forest!). What was causing it?

A mother bear & her cubs were crossing the road. Everyone had stopped so they could get out of their cars and, literally, chase them in order to get that priceless souvenir photo. These people were no more than a few feet away from the animals.

The same thing happened quite a few other times while we were there when people encountered buffalo, elk & other animals on or at the side of the road.

I definitely don't agree with Timothy's approach to dealing with the bears, but that doesn't mean I don't still admire what he tried to accomplish.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Kiva
Date: February 26, 2006 02:42PM
IMO, the man appeared to be somewhat mentally ill. Probably Bi-Polar or hypomanic. There's a brief statement by a friend earlier in the film where she recalls he went to a psychiatrist who prescribed meds and Treadwell's response to them was something like "i can't handle being the middle ground...I have to have the highs and the lows." That is CLASSIC Bi-Polar logic for not taking meds. The filming seemed to show both extremes - from his grandiosity to his intense sadness.

I thought the director / filmmaker was brilliant in his depiction and his commentary.

as far as "tragic and sad and he got perhaps, what he wanted, or, what he deserved"...nobody deserves to be mauled and eaten alive by a bear - certainly not treadwell. Was what happened to him a surprise? Of course not. But he didn't *deserve* it. That's cold..

kiva





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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 02:43PM
BGnR, thank you smiling smiley

& yes, it was made quite clear that his girlfriend wasn't a "city girl" who had no wilderness experience. She was, from what they indicated, quite familiar with bears & knew the danger.

Newton, yes, his friends & family did discuss the problems he had. My basic conclusion of it was that he traded one addiction for another. Timothy credited the bears & the Alaskan wilderness with cleaning up his life & getting him away from drugs & alcohol.

Unfortunately, I really do think that he just traded addictions. He became addicted to the high he got from being out there, in the wilderness, with the bears.

As for his girlfriend, see the second paragraph in this post. It sounds as if she knew what she was getting into.

I'd love to read more information about this guy, his girlfriend & what happened in order to get more of an unbiased account. I felt that the documentary was trying to be as unbiased as possible. Like I said, they certainly didn't gloss over his problems. I never felt like they were trying to make him into a hero.

It was just a really incredible documentary all around. It never seemed one-sided. It didn't seem to vilify him, nor did it try to turn him into a hero.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 02:48PM
"as far as "tragic and sad and he got perhaps, what he wanted, or, what he deserved"...nobody deserves to be mauled and eaten alive by a bear - certainly not treadwell. Was what happened to him a surprise? Of course not. But he didn't *deserve* it. That's cold.. "

VERY true, kiva. Even though he was reckless in the way he interacted with the bears, he KNEW the risks. He even reiterated those risks himself in the documentary.

No one deserves that kind of end. I really do think that if he'd been a "scientist" who followed all the correct protocol in dealing with the animals, the reaction to his death would have been the same.

& I'm sure you're right that he was bi-polar. I wouldn't doubt it for a minute.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Toad
Date: February 26, 2006 03:00PM
Find and read "The Grizzly Maze", by Nick Jans. Jans is one of this generations more gifted author's, and he had almost unlimited access to all the individuals involved, and all the documentation. He has also lived in Alaska for 26 years, most of that time in wild, remote areas.
You will come away still conflicted, but much more knowledgeable.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: February 26, 2006 03:47PM
they said bi-polar in a bear thread. hee hee get it. bi-polar bear?



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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: February 26, 2006 04:16PM
Yes they did leave and come back and it was stated very clearly that his girlfriend at the time was scared of these bears and not as into this as he was.

Sorry guys, those of you who defend this whacko have your sympathy misplaced.

This was a person who was obsessed with himself and trying to up his stature via these bears. They were a convenient vehicle for him and he seized it and used them.

First of all, there is NO reason for him to appear so much on his own films at all, except maybe to point out things like the incredible damage the two bears did to the ground when they were fighting. Appearances such as those are valuable for the purpose of showing scale, a human size reference. He could have narrated off camera or later in post production...and much more effectively. his grandiose appearances were rambling, chaotic and redundant, peppered with statements about how great he was for doing this...crazy.

Yeah, maybe he didnt "deserve" to be eaten...but hey...you have to think that those bears probably were threatened by his constant presence...Bears can eat you when they feel threatened.

I dont buy this crap about him being there to protect the bears. Sorry If I come across as callous but I have several friends that are bi-polar...after awhile that sort of behaviour is intolerable. These people are master manipulators and in case you mightn't have realized...if you fell for this guys mask of being a genuine conservator, you have been manipulated.

The film was compelling, very well done and, IMHO, was the portrait of master manipulator who seemd to be trying to prove to the world that he was a hero...he said it over and over...crediting himself for all the good he is doing, slapping himself on the back. It disgusted me. Real hero's dont have this need, they go about there biz quietly and dont try to snatch credit.

Ugh..I changed my mind...you go messing with bears, year after year, getting in their face, trying to touch them (this clearly pissed the particular bear off) invading their turf AND in as he called it.."the maze" a dangerous place...then you could deserve to be eaten, you can at least expect it at some point.. It's bogus, as is he, The Grizzly Man.

His parents should have stepped in and put a lid on their childs craziness. If anything in the world was worthy of an intervention, this was it.

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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Silencio
Date: February 26, 2006 04:34PM
Werner Herzog is one of my all-time favorite directors. Does an amazing job with the tragic/flawed/narcissistic protagonists, so I felt this documentary wasn't far off at all in comparison to his classic movies from the 70s and 80s. Treadwell was a guy who could fit right alongside the fictional Aguirre.

Funny how someone posted about Klaus Kinski in another thread a couple of weeks back, as Kinski and Herzog worked together on most of his best films (Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre Wrath of God, &c) and they had a very tempestuous relationship.

Oh, and Treadwell would have made a very annoying barkeep on Cheers. Good thing they picked Woody Harrelson over him, but it is very striking how a life can totally change over a decision like that.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Kiva
Date: February 26, 2006 04:43PM
kraniac...I agree with much of what you said re: he shouldn't be seen as any sort of hero. However, if you have friends that are bi-polar and have seen them off their meds (i'm fairly certain he was bi-polar, but i'm still assuming), then you know what they are like. They are so far from logic, it's hard to watch - just like his nonsensical ramblings were like in the movie. If he was mentally ill, then he didn't "deserve" it..he was sick and untreated.

It takes a *lot* for the state or family to 'step in' with a mentally ill, non med-compliant adult. Most of the time, they end up homeless or living on the edge of society. There really isn't much people can do. However, all that knew him are somewhat complicit, in that they appeared to encourage him and, heck, even flew him into the area, knowing what he was doing.

I think you can debate the merits/damage of what he did endlessly. The fact remains that he was likely mentally ill and, for that, we should have *some* compassion for him. He wasn't thinking clearly. I'd have been *very* curious to have seen him talk about his bear trips after a good trial of depakote or lithium to see if he came around to some reasonableness...

It would be nice if his bi-polar diagnosis was well-documented and then this debilitating illness can be talked about whenever the movie is brought up. The more I write about it, the more curious I am to know whether or not he truly was bi-polar...

kiva




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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 07:00PM
read more: [outside.away.com]


What's wrong with having compassion for this guy? Sure, you can argue all you want that he was narcisstic, but does that mean he spent time with these bears JUST for his own sake? No, not at all. He may not have gone about it in the right way, but he obviously DID care about these bears & that's what's admirable.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: incognegro
Date: February 26, 2006 08:15PM
LOTS of commercial interruptions on Discovery. too many to make it watchable, i'll probably check it out on DVD sometime in the future.

did he remind anyone else of Jeff Daniels in Dumb & Dumber?



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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Mike Sellers
Date: February 26, 2006 08:51PM
"did he remind anyone else of Jeff Daniels in Dumb & Dumber?"

Reminded me more of Richard Simmons. Maybe bears weren't the only thing he was deluding himself about.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 09:03PM
Mike, well as he stated at some point in the documentary, he really liked girls. He was sorta lamenting that he WASN'T gay.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Mike Sellers
Date: February 26, 2006 10:04PM
Yeah, I know, and boasting of his prowess in bed too. It struck me as a little strange and sounded like was protesting too much. Lamenting he wasn't gay was unintentionally funny in that context.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: February 26, 2006 10:10PM
yeah, Mike...it was. smiling smiley

I think he was just one of those guys that HAS a decent love life but still thinks his sucks. I had friends like that.
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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: Kiva
Date: February 27, 2006 04:01PM
another possible diagnosis: narcissitic personality disorder on Axis II and Bipolar II on axis I..

:-)

kiva



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Re: Did anyone here watch Grizzly Man last night?
Posted by: samintx
Date: March 26, 2006 10:34AM
I just viewed the DVD....crazy guy. I think he was harming the bears not helping. Weird human being. But I guess in his opinion he was a great lover!
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