Over the weekend I watched Grizzly Man and I was amazed. It covers the life and death of Timothy Treadwell who spent 13 summers in the Alaskan wilderness living with the Alaskan brown bears. He filmed his last 5 summers there, and the film is made up mostly of his footage, along with interviews of people who knew him (not as compelling as the rest). At times the wilderness is just jaw-dropping. He is close enough to these bears that he can touch them, and he has arctic foxes following him as if they are his pets. He formed a bond with the wild that’s hard not to admire. On the other hand, he has a screw or two loose, and he is more than a bit fanatical and delusioned about his purpose. Even with his environmentalist, anti-establishment ramblings and all-around kookiness, I couldn’t help but watch in amazement at his energy and passion for what he was doing. Maybe his closeness to the bears was misdirected and may have hurt more than helped (getting them too used to human presence), but it was still raw and powerful. And again, the footage he captured was just amazing.
On a different, but somewhat simlar vein, today I followed a link to this site of an autistic guy who has created an entire city through drawings and writings. There is a short video on him online here. He has written history, economics and demographics for the city and the detail in the drawings is remarkable. The cohesive vision and depth of content is what really makes it come to life.
Two passions for very different subjects, from not-quite-normal minds, both impressive and inspiring in their own right.