Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Herzog on Nature

One of the most striking contrasts in Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man" is between Timothy Treadwell and Herzog's respective conceptions of nature. Treadwell is portrayed as having an idealized conception of nature, as a perfect realm which we can enter into and become one with wild animals (which is, of course, what literally happens to Treadwell himself). Here is Herzog's response to this conception of nature:

"I differ with Treadwell. He seemed to ignore the fact that in nature there are predators. I believe that the common denominator of the universe is not harmony but chaos, hostility, and murder." (at 1:10:50 in the film)

"What haunts me is that in all the faces of all the bears that Treadwell ever filmed I discover no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature. To me, there is no such thing as a secret world of the beers and this blank stare speaks only of a half-bored interest in food. But for Timothy Treadwell this bear was a friend, a savior." (at 1:36:43 in the film)

1 comment:

Charles P. Everitt said...

Some related thoughts from "The Burden of Dreams":