Grizzly ghost: Herzog, Bazin and the cinematic animal

Seung Hoon Jeong, Dudley Andrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Grizzly Man Werner Herzog approached the sacred moment of death theorized by Bazin in relation to animals and humans. Herzog who has always edged up to the brink of extreme danger, this time follows Timothy Treadwell inside the jaws of animal life and death. Grizzly Man contributes to animal film/animal philosophy in the way it sets Herzog's sober investigation and reflection about human beings against Treadwell's maniacal failure to 'become-animal'. Or did he fail? Treadwell's guerilla video, with its deranged language performance, is like an animal scream; it makes him at home within the grizzly maze, perhaps at home inside the grizzly itself. Herzog's film re-territorializes this errant descent into becoming-animal. But Treadwell survives beyond Herzog. He survives as a spectre to us, as he addresses us as if in a live-TV situation. We who listen to and see him after his death serve as his ghostly audience during his performances. In a certain way, this grizzly ghost encounters our phantom selves through the medium of Herzog's mundane documentary inquest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScreen
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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