Wednesday, June 6, 2012


It's nearly impossible to talk about Timothy Treadwell without acknowledging the impact that Werner Herzog's 2005 documentary Grizzly Man has had on the public's understanding of him and his work.  For most, myself included, Herzog's incredible film was an introduction to the man, one that focused attention primarily on his demise, negating much of what his intent as a naturalist might have been as he spent his summers communing with the natural world.

 Photo © Timothy Treadwell

As Cinema Project's spring season draws to a close, they've put together a rare opportunity for Portland to view Treadwell's work as a filmmaker and photographer, divorced of any commentary associated with his end.  Heather Lane, one of the organizers of the collective, states that, "this is an attempt on our part to change the focus on Timothy Treadwell from who he was (and how he died), to what he accomplished as a filmmaker and photographer."
"The footage does not include him, but focuses on the animals and landscape. It is amazing that we have been given access to this footage and have been allowed to edit it for this show, something that Cinema Project has never done before as an organization."

Photo © Timothy Treadwell 

The result, 13 Summers, draws from the footage that Treadwell shot over the course of his time in the Alaskan wild.  This single-night event, arranged in conjunction with the opening of The Creative Music Guild's Experimental Music and Art Festival, will pair the images with live musical accompaniment, courtesy of an ensemble of local and traveling musicians. 

 Photo © Timothy Treadwell

Here's Cinema Project's press release detailing the presentation:

This program features a multi-screen projection performance of footage from filmmaker and naturalist Timothy Treadwell. With live accompani­ment by an ensemble of local and international musicians, this event opens the Creative Music Guild's Experimental Music and Art Festival. Treadwel spent thirteen summers in Hallo Bay and Kaflia Bay in Alaska, living among and filming grizzly bears. His life and death have been well docu­mented, but his work as a filmmaker and photographer has been some­what overlooked. 
This screening is an attempt at un-tethering the footage from narration and from media-driven perspective, in order to highlight the beautiful and majestic images as they are. With the addition of a live musical soundtrack, the audience's experience of the natural world and theanimalsweshareitwith becomes more immediate, and more personal Timothy Treadwell's footage was generously made available to us through Grizzly People, a grassroots organization devoted to preserving bears and their wilderness habitat in the hopes that humans will learn to live in peace with the bear, wilderness, and fellow humans. 

UPDATE: The Creative Music Guild's Facebook page reports that the ensemble for the event will include:

Tim DuRoche- percussion
Reed Wallsmith - saxophone
Jon Shaw - bass
Doug Theriault - guitar, noise
Dan Duval - guitar
Joe Cunningham- saxophone

Maybe more too.

Cinema Project & The Creative Music Guild present 13 Summers at the Bamboo Grove Salon on Friday, June 8th.  More info on the program available here.

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