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January 31, 2006

Comments

djw

I'd place 3-8-2 as my top three, although I'd insert the South Korean "Memories of Murder" as my second favorite of the year. Haven't seen Match Point. I thought Capote was a touch overrated, and Constant Gardener a bit moreso. Danny Boyle's Millions would be #5; just a marvelous and highly underrated film. I thought Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man was a better documentary than Penguins.

Hugo

DJW, I wanted to like "Grizzly Man." But Herzog's own disapproval of Timothy Treadwell's decisions was so annoying condescending, it ruined the film for me. Give me a different voice over track, and I'd have loved it. But Herzog infuriated me.

Hugo

Whoops, I meant "annoyingly".

djw

I liked the overall effect of Herzog's narration. On the one hand, he's an arrogant, condescending, judgmental bastard. On the other hand, in my heart of hearts, I sensed (knew?) he was right. The film played my heart against my brain. I like that. Some of Freeman's narration seemed a bit....treacly to me, although I understand the original French was much worse on that score.

Catty

I loved the Grizzly Man. While I do find Herzog's narration to also be somewhat condescending, I think there was enough footage and room for people to come to their own conclusions. I think it didn't try to demonize what Timothy was or what he did. I think it shows a lot of depth is showing Timothy as a complex and conflicted individual and not just a simple buffoon or nutcase- which would have been an easy thing to do. In the undercurrent of the narration, I did feel that Herzog had a sense of respect for Timothy, his dedication, his joy and his absolute love for nature and animals- while at the same time not neccessarily agreeing with Timothy's course of action.

I have a lot of love for the gentle soul that was Timothy Treadwell. I cried at the news of his death and I cried throughout the movie. I think the film did do well in capturing the profound love he had for the animals and nature. I don't think the film was condescending to Timothy as a person or to his dedication. On the other hand, knowing many people that are in the filed of conservation, I do also understand that what Timothy did was neither advisable or neccessarily positive. One of the tenets of wildlife conservation, and those that are involved in the rescue of wild animals- is not to familiarize them to humans, as this first and foremost hurts the animals and their surivival. The key to preserving wildlife is not to make wildlife harmless or friendly- in essence, making wildlife *human.* It lies in respecting the wildness and respecting the right for wildlife to remain wild and untouched by human hands.

Hugo

Catty, I couldn't agree more with your analysis of Treadwell; but where you heard respect from Herzog I heard snide judgement. His treatment of Treadwell's close friend (the one who who lends him the audio tape of the deaths) struck me as patronizing. Maybe it's his Teutonic lack of sentimentality, but I just couldn't help but wish that someone else had told the fascinating story.

Matt Brown

You seriously have to be kidding with "War of the Worlds." I think it was great eye-candy, but certainly not anywhere near the top of any "year's best" list. "Batman Returns" was much better than "WOTW".

Hugo

Matt, it was 10th, not 1st -- I found it challenging and exciting.

Catty

Well, the one thing I respected about the film was that it didn't go out of its way to make Timothy out like a complete fool and the bears to be this evil monster. In fact, I was pretty satisfied with the fair portrayal of the bears- not as this horrible creature, nor a cuddly one- but an animal built to live in the rugged wildnerness, where it belongs... which I think in hindsight, is probably what Timothy wanted most. Rest in peace, timothy. Your gentle soul never found peace in this world.

As for my movie pics, I think the movie Hero made it on my top ten... I absolutely adored that film, although it was delayed in release by Miram-AXE.

I'm glad that a lot of indie films made it to the Oscars. I've always loved indie films, and I'm glad that they're fetting the recognition they deserve.

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Three phrases should be among the most common in our daily usage. They are: Thank you, I am grateful and I appreciate.

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