The first time I heard anything about Timothy Treadwell. I honestly thought he was crazy. I was sitting in the "New Media/Film" classroom in my high school and heard my classmates talking in sarcastic tones and hushed whispers about his death. Unfortunately for Treadwell, his greatest passion was also the source of his ultimate demise. Something about the fact that his death was captured on film, brought out this morbid and almost comical feeling in my high school friends.
At the time I didn't think it was funny (and I still don't), but I merely dismissed Treadwell's story. I instantly thought of him as some unstable environmentalist who clearly did not know how to respect nature's boundaries.
It wasn't until one night when I was channel surfing and desperate for anything to keep me awake that I came across a tv documentary series about Treadwell. The program provided background on the film on Treadwell, Grizzly Man, and went behind the scenes of the movie interviewing the animal-lover's close family a friends.
I'll admit that I began watching it mostly out of a morbid curiosity that they would show or discuss footage from Treadwell's mauling. I sat through clips of Treadwell in the field, talking in a mock-baby voice to bears largely ignoring him. Treadwell's fanatic behavior and crazed adoration for wildlife, didn't support any case arguing for his sanity.
But, I endured. As each of his video diary entries from the wild flickered before my glazed-over eyes, I realized that Treadwell had something that I actually really needed (and still need) in my life - passion.
What really caught my eye were the photos that Treadwell took. What's most remarkable, is that he didn't use any special lenses - meaning he was actually almost that close to all of his subjects.
I don't really think they need much explanation. As corny and contrived as it sounds they speak for themselves.
My main purpose for creating this post was to show case these photos, but of course I couldn't resist creating a collage with pictures of Treadwell and very (VERY) distantly related subject matter - Alexa Chung's Barbour Jacket and screen shots from Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox (an absolute favorite of mine).
It feels a little phony of me to act like I have so much to say about Timothy Treadwell when I haven't even seen Grizzly Man but (I cringe as I type this) he really reminded me about the beauty of nature, silence, isolation and being at peace with yourself having found love.
Timothy Treadwell's haunting photos really speak of his affection for wildlife, and somehow they speak the same language of silence and pure intentions of nature. I love Fantastic Mr. Fox (and Wes Anderson's other films) for their same dialogue of silence and body language. The abrupt lines and fluid use of motion is calming - to me anyway. As I slip deeper and deeper into this existential crisis, it only makes sense that I tack some Johnny Cash on here. His echoey ghost of a voice just felt right with these pictures..