Reflecting on Grizzly Man

Grizzly Man Essay

Now that we have finished watching and making notes on Grizzly Man we need to think about how we can apply this to an essay in the style that would be required in the exam.

The question you will be answering is:

In what ways might Grizzly Man (2005) Herzog be described as, ‘fabrication, imagination and stylization’?

As ever the assessment criteria are TEAS:

  • Terms – think micro terms, macro terms AND documentary specific terminology such has modes of documentary, different types of spectator positioning and documentary conventions.
  • Examples – detailed micro evidence from specific moments in the film – it is not enough to say ‘Herzog uses narration’ – pick a specific moment when he does and give detail.
  • Analysis – what does this mean? how is the example constructing meaning for an audience – how does it represent the ‘characters’ / information? how are the audience invited to respond?
  • Significance – Link it back to some of those big issues / debates we have discussed about documentary and spectatorship.

Task 1

First off you need to complete a textual analysis of two sequences from the film with particular reference to sound and editing. In pairs you will consider one sequence in which Herzog makes his point of view known in the voice over.

  • Herzog’s Agenda: (00.00 – 05.46) (Miss Hales) (Mr Gregson)
  • Herzog defends Treadwell as a film maker (22.37 – 26.06) (H) (G)
  • The camera as confessional (39.54 – 46.17) (H) (G)
  • Herzog’s verdict – farewell to Treadwell (1.36.45 – 1.44.05) (H) (G)

Here is a link to the film.

Task 2

Recap Roger Ebert Review 

Consider the key points that Ebert is making about Herzog’s treatment of the footage and Timothy Treadwell himself.

Task 3

Discuss/recap the key issues and debates surrounding spectatorship & the documentary genre.

Participate in a whole class debate on one of these three contentions. Your teacher will assign you a topic to prepare for and chair the discussion.

  1. What is Herzog’s agenda for Grizzly Man (2005)?
    1. How is it at odds with Treadwell’s?
  2. Does Herzog treat Timothy Treadwell fairly in Grizzly Man (2005)?
  3. Does Herzog use or abuse documentary conventions & techniques in Grizzly Man (2005)?

Task 4 

Plan your essay.

In the exam the documentary essay will be 1 hour long. In this time you will discuss Grizzly Man & The Imposter equally.

Therefore, for this essay you should use your plan and time yourself to hand write the question for 30 minutes as independent study.

(If you use a computer in the exam then you can type it and if you get extra time add on 8 minutes)

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