I heard an interesting interview on Weekend Edition with Werner Herzog talking about Grizzly Man, his new documentary about Timothy Treadwell, who spent many years with grizzly bears in Alaska. There’s another good interview that was on Fresh Air a couple of days prior.
Treadwell and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by some bears in October of 2003. The film makes use of Treadwell’s own video footage to tell the story. Herzog claims that it’s a “film that gives you more insight into our own nature than many other films that I’ve seen in a long time.” The film screens theatrically this summer and will be aired on the Discovery Channel this fall. Herzog says some interesting things about the documentary/fiction distinction, “I don’t really make a clear distinction between documentaries and feature films, there’s a blurred line because I stylize documentaries, sometimes I even invent … sometimes I try to dig into something much deeper than the superficial truth of the so called cinema verite, somehow [it is] confused about fact and truth, and I’ve always looked for something much deeper, an ecstatic truth, the ectascy of truth … the distinction is not so clear.”
I’m writing an assignment on Werner Herzog and ecstatic truth and this has been as informative as a michael moore documentary !!!!!!!!!!
I’m not sure if “as informative as a michael moore documentary” is a compliment or something else… how can you compare a filmmaker like Herzog who seeks the ecstasy of truth and Moore who more often than not depends on cheap shots and outright lies. Both offer unique perspectives on the nature of documentary, truth, and how the filmmaker deals with it.