R | | Documentary, Biography
In the DVD's extra-feature section about the documentary's music-recording sessions with Richard Thompson and fellow musicians, Werner Herzog explains his vision for the material he asked the musicians to improvise. For instance, underneath the slow fight of two bears, cello and the upright bass are heard menacing. Also when Treadwell swims near a bear, Herzog explains that this is not the kind of harmony it appears to be, but instead it's a situation of dangerous foreshadowing.
I'm out in the prime cut of big green. Behind me is Ed and Rowdy, members of an up-and-coming sub-adult gang. They're challenging everything, including me. Goes with the territory. If I show weakness, if I retreat, I may be hurt, I may be killed. I ...
Werner Herzog describes Timothy Treadwell's last tape, while telling his friend never to listen to it, as always being "a White Elephant in the room". "White Elephant" is a different figure of speech from "Elephant in the room". "White Elephant" means an extravagant but useless project; "Elephant in the room" means something unspoken that is nevertheless obvious.
The DVD from Lions Gate Home Entertainment opens with a disclaimer stating that the film has been changed from its theatrical version. The sole change is in the first ten minutes where Herzog explains that Treadwell had become a semi-celebrity. In the theatrical version a clip is shown of Treadwell on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman." Treadwell comes out and explains what he has been doing and Letterman quips, "We're not going to open a newspaper one day and read about you being eaten by a bear are we?" In the DVD version this exchange is omitted and replaced with a NBC news segment of Treadwell being interviewed. When the interviewer asks if he would ever want a gun to protect himself, Treadwell states that he "would never, ever kill a bear even in the defense of my own life."
$269,131 (USA) (14 August 2005)
$3,174,085 (USA) (20 November 2005)
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