Quotes From Jen, While Watching Grizzly Man Last Night

“Dude, it’s SHIT. It’s not ‘number two’. Who is your audience here? Channel 13? It’s SHIT. The bear ‘goes to the bathroom‘? No – the bear takes a shit. What the hell is his problem?”

“That woman … I hate to say it, but she needs to be in a war zone. A war zone’d straighten her right out.”

“See, the thing is is that I think Timothy Treadwell was …” (long profound pause, as she thought about her next comment. Then she reached out for her glass of wine, and said …) “… was just a guy …” (then she took a big swig of wine with an air of finality, like that was her big statement for the night. I burst out laughing which then caused Jen to do a spittake. That’s all you got, Jen? That potent pregnant pause was for that? He was “just a guy”?? GUFFAWING.)

This entry was posted in Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Quotes From Jen, While Watching Grizzly Man Last Night

  1. Alex says:

    I LOVE that you can’t stop watching this thing. I love it sooo much.

    How many times did we see this? Twice? Three times? I can’t remember.

    I do remember Bren’s face though. OMG! Brilliant.

  2. red says:

    hahahahaha Yeah, I think we watched it three times. The memory of you me and Brendan watching it for the first time is one of my favorites of that crazy trip to LA. what a great night!

  3. Ann Marie says:

    This reminds me of when you moved onto Wayne St. and the stupid frat boys had not even packed. And we’re at the coffee shop waiting and Mitchell says, “The thing is…. ” we all pause, knowing it will be profound … “I”m *angry*.” And it was kind of profound. :-)

  4. Dave E. says:

    I’ve read an awful lot about Grizzly Man, but I’ve never seen it. That’s because I would likely stroke out in a scorn overdose. Enough Jim Beam might prevent that though, and make it entertaining. Risky.

  5. red says:

    It’s actually a very profound movie. Not just about Treadwell – but filmmaking and the role of the observer (in nature, yes, but also as a film director) – and of course the psychology of Treadwell. If it makes it seem like I just sit back and scorn the guy, that’s an incorrect impression. I find him endlessly fascinating. Unbelievably watchable. The film gets you talking … and talking … and talking.

  6. red says:

    Ann – yes! It was just like that!! Jen had the air of one about to sum up Timothy Treadwell, and I waited with baited breath – and then she said, “he was just a guy …”


  7. Dave E. says:

    Ah, you are right to draw a distinction between the film and the subjects it examines. I should know better. It’s just that the subjects, from what I have read, leave me cold in their infantile arrogance.

  8. red says:

    It’s a much more complex movie than that. After all, it’s Werner Herzog.

    His films are often about megalomaniacal men on a mission – that turns them into fanatics. Timothy Treadwell fits the bill (even though he is not fictional) – and his footage of the bears is beyond belief. That is one of the things that drew Herzog, a brilliant filmmaker, to this material – that Treadwell’s stuff is so phenomenal, something no studio could ever get, or even recreate.

    Like I said – way more complex film than just something to sit back and snicker at the idiot who got himself eaten by a bear.

    That certainly would barely hold my interest through one viewing, let alone four or five.

  9. red says:

    (It’s not a perfect movie – Herzog lays some of it on too thick, and I have serious problems with one of his moments – but his narration, and the perspective he gives – is really fascinating – a great counterpoint to Treadwell’s footage – not only of the bears but of himself babbling on in a manic manner all by himself out in the woods.)

    Herzog makes the movie almost like a dialogue between himself and Treadwell – interjecting, “I disagree with Treadwell here …” – in that thick thick accent of his … making it an interesting and thought-provoking psychological analysis and philosophical film, something that (like I said) will get you talking.

  10. Dave E. says:

    I’ve seen some clips of the footage that Treadwell shot and agree that some of it is amazing. And I don’t snicker at his death, please don’t think that of me. My scorn is directed at the mindset he seemed to have, that he could insert himself that way and it would not end badly.

  11. red says:

    No, I know, but that’s the most interesting thing about it. It’s discussed at length in the film – by park rangers and Eskimos and others … It’s part of the conversation of the film, if you can handle hearing both sides of it. I guess I find it more interesting than enraging- Although I do find Treadwell enraging at times. Or, no, that’s not right. Not enraging.

    I find it enraging that he seems to feel that nature’s default position is kind and gentle and anythign violent that happens is out of the ordinary. This is also discussed at length in the film – with Herzog interjecting his thoughts on nature, and bears, etc. Treadwell is naive and full of romantic ideals, etc.

    But more than anything, I actually find him to be blatantly mentally ill. Swooping up from mania to depression to rage, obsessively repeating certain phrases to himself, over and over, in this phony voice, as though he is trying to FORCE himself to be another kind of person. In my opinion, the man is gay and just flat out cannot deal with it.. He is openly mentally ill – undiagnosed – out in the wild playing with bears – and my ultimate response to him is: God, this guy wants to shed his skin and not be himself anymore. He wants to BE a bear.

    Not because he’s a loony enviro-turd or whatever the current lingo of contempt is but because there is a deep split in his psyche and he hates mankind and he hates himself – and doesn’t want to be himself anymore. He wants to transform, morph, escape.

    It’s frightening to watch him spiral up and spiral down, and you wonder who the hell are his dipshit friends who didn’t step in and try to get him some help.

    By the end, you can feel the mania rising to a dangerous height – and I don’ tknow, this last time I watched it, I felt his death wish in that moment. I felt that he knew what was going to happen (the final footage he took of himself is hours before his death – standing right on the spot where he would die). It is as though he not only knows what is coming, but is choosing it.

    So I guess more than anything – I find him fascinating and disturbing and, ultimately, totally watchable.

  12. Dave E. says:

    It’s that “nature’s default position” thing that sets me off. That, and some of the profoundly wrong…praise?…celebration?…of Treadwell that I’ve seen. It’s insane.

    After what you have written, I should probably watch the movie. Obviously, it’s about more than what I thought it was. I reserve the right to drink heavily though.

  13. scotter says:

    I had followed this guy’s story when he died, and found him so very offensive (especially knowing a bear and a woman died for his b.s.) that I couldn’t imagine validating his existence by watching the movie.

    The idea/hope of the movie being about Herzog, an artistic hero of mine, confronting this phenomenon and processing it for us makes the thought of seeing this film a bit more, uh, bearable.

    I know of course, that ultimate satisfaction will be denied because we don’t get to hear the audio of the f’er “discovering” how the world really works.

  14. red says:

    The movie is definitely as much about Herzog (like most of Herzog’s movies) as it is about Treadwell.

  15. red says:

    That, for me, is the most upsetting part of the film – how wrong he is about nature, and how he freakin’ lives in the wild and still doesn’t get it. The animals get it – he doesn’t.

    There’s a part where a bumblebee has apparently died – and Treadwell is just beside himself with grief about it – and during this last viewing – Jen and I couldn’t help it, we were helpless with laughter – every time there was a closeup of that still bumblebee, we were guffawing. It’s so absurd!

    Like DH Lawrence wrote –

    I never saw a wild thing
    sorry for itself
    A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
    without ever having felt sorry for itself.

    I am one of those people who loves animals – I love nature programs, I love anything about creatures of the forest field or ocean – give me more, more, more – but it is that lack of self-pity (Lawrence’s poem is called Self Pity) that I find MOST fascinating. They just do what they do, they have their experiences, they know who they are and what they need – and they go about trying to get their needs met.

    Treadwell missed that memo COMPLETELY.

    And so when he looks at the bears – he does not see a “wild thing” – he sees his own wounded inner child who is misunderstood and wants to be free and open.

    Grizzly bears are NOT misunderstood. Or, no, check that. The only one who appears to have misunderstood grizzly bears is Timothy Treadwell himself.

  16. Emily says:

    My favorite part – and I have so many – is when he was trying to reason with the fox running off with his hat. “Don’t you understand how important that hat is to me?” What’s next, Timmy? Gonna teach the pups geometry?

    Oh – and the “man to man” he had with one of the bears on the beach after it lost the mating ritual! INSANE.

    One of the moments in the film that’s really come to bug me over the years is any time a guy would say something about “that poor girl” being “forced” by Timmy to come with him. Um, no dudes. She had a voice. She could have spoken up and said “no, Timothy, I am not going to come with you to Ass-scratch, Alaska to cavort among carnivorous, wild bears.” She made a CHOICE like a grown woman. Even if she didn’t like it, she could have decided not to go or demand to leave at any time. She was not Treadwell’s freakin’ pet. I think the fact that she stayed behind and tried to save him while he was being attacked instead of fleeing for her own safety – something that ultimately cost her her LIFE – says a lot about her not being some submissive, helpless little girl who had to do what Timmy told her. She was responsible for her fate, not HIM.

  17. red says:

    That fox with the hat moment Emily is so interesting – because it starts out and you think it’s going to be funny (oh ha ha fox being playful) – but almost immediately Treadwell’s voice gets angry and whiny – and you realize (with horror) that he’s being SERIOUS. Like, I tried to convince myself for two seconds that he HAD to be kidding – he wasn’t actually talking to the fox like that, was he??? But oh my God, yes he was!!!

    That man to man with Mr. Chocolate is hysterical too – because the bear is just flopped out on the sand, facing away from Treadwell, and it’s so bizarre because, uhm, Tim? Bears don’t speak English, mkay? The bear must be like, ‘what is that moron babbling about back there?”

    I totally agree with what you said about the girlfriend and I am so glad you said it. Yes, she chose. She hated bears, and she chose to stay there. That weird-ass coroner dude made that point too (wasn’t he so bizarre?? I kinda like him though) – how she chose to “stay in the situation” and fight the bear and not run. She was not a submissive nobody. She was a grown woman. She made a terrible choice, on her own power.

  18. Emily says:

    I love that coroner dude. He was straight out of an Edgar Allan Poe story. He was so fittingly creepy. It’s been too long since I watched this last, so I can’t remember all the details, but I still get a laugh out of the straight-shooting Alaska natives and their perspective on Treadwell. They were very tolerant of him, but completely unreserved about what a cook they thought he was. Which guy was it that said “I think the reason the bears left him alone for so long is because they sensed that he was kind of retarded”? It’s a very prosaic, simple observation, but very much true.

  19. red says:

    Emily – yes! That guy was amazing!!

    I loved the Inuit dude at the museum, too – that scene made me really really sad. He just was like, “Treadwell crossed a line that our people have not crossed for 7 centuries …”

  20. red says:

    Again, I think he looked at the bears and did not see wild grizzly bears but saw poor misunderstood (closeted gay) Timothy Treadwell. That wasn’t really apparent to me until this last viewing.

    Also: these bears are on a national park. He anointed himself as their protector – but, dude, it’s a national park.

    My favorite moment of the film is when Treadwell goes off on the park service – and suddenly you see the raging Long Island boy he really is – no more whispery gentle PHONY voice – but his truth, coming out. It’s ugly, man, not saying I like him in the slightest – but it’s nice to see something TRUTHFUL.

  21. Emily says:

    I meant “kook.” Yeah, Timothy Treadwell, chef extraordinaire. I need more coffee…

    Despite Timmy’s delusions of being the sole protector of these animals, the Inuit guy was infinitely more in tune with the idea of nature and the barriers between man and animal. Treadwell disregarded any of those barriers that didn’t suit his agenda. His narcissism is absolutely astounding to witness. The fact that he projected all of his own failings on the entire human race, blamed everybody but himself and the bears for his problems – the blatant mental illness is fascinating to disect. And watching his paranoia build from year to year – I still get chills when I think of him pointing to that log that had a smiley face and the cheerful, friendly words “see you next year, Timmy!” while Treadwell interpreted them to be some kind of threat or warning. It’s like somebody saying “Have a nice day!” and hearing “I’m going to kill you.” It’s so scary to think how warped the human mind can get.

  22. Emily says:

    Yes! The “Fuck you, National Park Service!” rant was so revealing. Like, how DARE you try and force rules on me in my OWN KINGDOM? I rule this place, not you. You can’t tell me what to do. The hostility was epic, especially when you consider that the park service was only trying to act in the best interest of the bears he claimed to love so deeply.

  23. nightfly says:

    My wife and I had gone to visit friends in North Carolina a couple of months ago – they have four kids, so there are kiddie movies on whenever you like. One night, we all saw the Disney film “Brother Bear.” I insisted on watching the credits, because I’m That Guy, you know – sigh – and in the acknowledgments and thank-yous… there’s his name. Timothy Treadwell. It completely freaked me out.

    Brother Bear was released two years before Grizzly Man.

  24. brendan says:

    I looked at this post very quickly and first thought Jen had say, “He was just…GAY.”

    Which is also, oddly, appropriate.

Comments are closed.