Eric Dewberry’s Conceiving Grizzly Man through the “Powers of the False” is about Werner Herzog’s documentary and how it engages in “creative falsification”. Dewberry states that “creative falsification” is “a cinematic concept theorized by Gilles Deleuze in which the filmmaker generates optical images which bond to virtual images (or images that evoke a people’s general past, fantasies, and dreams) to reveal some representation of the truth.”
Dewberry first mentions that film critics expressed unpleasant feelings about the documentary. Some critics complained that Herzog had bad editing, it was too staged, or that he should have let Timothy Treadwell’s photographs and videos speak for themselves. Herzog has been criticized before about previous documentaries and has even admitted to fabricating some of his documentaries.
This is where “creative falsification” comes in. Dewberry expands more about creative falsification and states that it brings out the “real” truth in situations because the actual series of events has the truth represented in discourse. By falsifying some of the story, the “real” truth comes out.
Herzog in the documentary uses other people along with all the footage kept by Treadwell to help portray Treadwell’s thoughts and ideas. Herzog even appears at one point during the documentary when he is listening to the footage that Treadwell had recorded during his attack. Herzog places interviews, pictures, and footage in a certain order to express certain ideals. For example, Herzog includes lots of footage with Treadwell talking about how dangerous it is to be this close to bears and even mentions that Treadwell was mauled to death by a brown bear to create “an intensified drama in the film, so that every close encounter with wild bears leaves the viewers waiting for an attack.”.
The whole concept of “creative falsification” makes me think of the term white lies, small little lies that usually support some sort of idea or story by the person using them. White lies most of the time don’t hinder anyone involved, however it is a form of lying that no one does anything about, People are told multiple white lies a day without realizing it. It can be something as simple as “Hey, have you seen this movie?” or “Hey, have you heard of this song,” or something a little more complicated such as the character of Santa Claus. Many parents will tell their kids Mickey Mouse and Cinderella are real people instead of a storybook characters to keep their imagination alive. .
Furthermore, at Disney World, Disney workers dress up as Disney princesses and other Disney characters to help little kids perceive their favorite storybook characters as real people. Even though Cinderella and Mickey Mouse, do not actually exist; Disney workers will not admit that they do not in the park around children. Disney workers who dress up as Disney princesses are not allowed to say “I dress up as Cinderella” or “I am Cinderella” outside of work; they are supposed to say that “I am friends with Cinderella” to keep the magic alive in the child’s imagination. White lies are helpful to these children in the sense that what they think is real has stayed real from a cartoon movie to a real world castle.
2 thoughts to “Dewberry and Conceiving Grizzly Man through the “Powers of the False” Facilitation”
Brooke does an excellent job tying in the term “Creative Falsification” to her own example of white lies and how imperative they are in certain situations. By doing so, I have a better understanding of the impact that creative falsification has on our everyday lives, not just movies or films. The quote “an intensified drama in the film, so that every close encounter with wild bears leaves the viewers waiting for an attack.”, which Brooke integrated into her facilitation, initiates my experiences with horror films. Some horror films, such as Final Destination, have forced me not to drive behind log trucks or steer away from tanning beds because of their gruesome scenes. These cinematic concepts produced by the filmmaker issued optical images that resonated with my personal experiences from the past and into the future.
“White lies” is a perfect concept to use to facilitate Dewberry’s argument. The notion that there are only ” truth” and “lies” leaves open a gigantic gulf of “grey” area in the actual ways we live our daily lives, and the somewhat oxymoronic “white lies” (in that we tend to associate white with “good” and “lies” with “bad”, so “good bads”) has been helping us talk about part of that grey area for a long time (apparently, it has become much more popular since the 1960s: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=white+lie&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cwhite%20lie%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cwhite%20lie%3B%2Cc0).