Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bear Stories: News & Film

Probably one of the most bizarre news stories of the week was the story out of Christina Lake, British Columbia involving a marijuana growing operation near the Canada-United States border.
The story of this drug bust involves 13 black bears who served as "guards" over this pot plantation. The bears, who were fed dog food are presumed to have been lured in to ward of unwelcomed guest.

Yet, when the mounted police came in, the animals had been so humanized that they not only failed to attack, but they even got some comfortable as to get cozy and sit on an unmarked surveillance vehicle.

The news story actually immediately took me in my mind to the thought of this being a film story. Partially because it's so bizarre and really seems like a Will Farrell comedy...Farrell obviously playing a mounted police. Or, it could go by way of the Coen's in which the pot growers could be Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi.

Of course...from there I remembered that "bear films" have a slow and boring tendency that make them films I usually don't enjoy. In fact, I quickly thought of the critically acclaimed 1988 film, The Bear (or L'ours in French).

The Bear, directed by Jean-Jeacques Annaud, is arguably one of the most boring films I have ever watched. This story, like the recent news story takes place in British Columbia and tells what I assume to some is a heart-warming story of a young bear cubs trials after it's mother is killed by a rock slide.

I also thought of the also less than amazing movie An Unfinished Life, which also has a bear as a central plot element. The Robert Redford/Morgan Freeman/Jennifer Lopez project seemed to have potential, but maybe it's something about bears that keeps a story from moving.

Of all the bear-oriented films I can think of, the documentary Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog is the standout. So...maybe there is a potential of a bear story, but maybe for me, it's far more interesting when the story is about the people (in the case of Grizzly Man, it was Timothy Tredwell) then a story where the bear itself is an actual character in the story.

Will Farrell...Coen Brothers...take note if you want to tell this story.
Actually, the further tragedy is that these bears will probably be put to death due to their comfort level around humans. Although that makes for a far less than comical story.

Source of image of police with bears here.

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