There’s an art to picking which film to pick in this thing, and I’ve certainly not mastered it. I’ve ended up basically going with Herzog’s post 2000 documentaries and Godard’s 1960’s films starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. Either way I liked them both.
Grizzly Man (2005)
Another interesting film in the form of nature documentary is a nice way to categorise this. The premise itself felt quite dull to me, and I’m not a major fan of these ‘treat animals like humans’ people. However the guy that this film circulates around is utterly transfixing. Timothy Treadwell has to be the most baffling man to ever be caught on film, and what’s so brilliant is that he’s catching himself on camera. Herzog picks through the hours of footage Treadwell recorded whilst on his expeditions to Alaska and pieces together a fascinating character study.
This guy is so easy to fall for. He is so tragically in love with bears, and this is why the story is so heartbreaking and a struggle to watch at times. There is a part in the film where Herzog listens to the recording of Treadwell’s death, and it’s a really harrowing moment as he tells the owner (friend of Treadwell) to destroy this tape. It’s sections like this that really put the film into perspective, and put a dark twist onto it. In all honesty though my favourite thing in this movie is Timothy Treadwell and his zaniness. I found it really amusing watching him repeat takes of himself as he presents his beloved bears to the world.
Herzog’s engaging voice is here again, and it wonderfully adds to the film. Though at this time I feel like I need to dive into the extreme with Herzog and maybe watch one of his epics from over 30 years ago.
Pierrot Le Fou (1965)
I don’t think I’ve seen a film as artistic as this before. If there was a film that you put forward to give evidence in a ‘film is art’ argument, it would be this one. Jean Luc astonishes me again with this one, and I cannot believe this was made in the 60’s. It is a film that is completely timeless, almost due to visuals alone. At times, it’s safe to say I had no idea what was going on, but every frame is painted with such craft and effort that the plot hardly matters.
Again you get two complex characters and allow them time on screen. This time they are more troubled and desperate than in ‘Breathless’. They are hard to root for, though your alignment with them comes from the sublime words that come out of their mouth. The narrative takes shocking and macabre turns, making the film surprisingly gripping. I drifted of for a few moments and noticed I had missed half of the films movement, and yet I was brought back in by the almost perfect cinematography.
It’s really hard to just go on and on about how much you love and appreciate a film, so Godard’s films are going to be tricky to write about, as I can tell I’m going to have the same reaction to all of them.
Hoping that I absolutely detest the next films.