Saturday, May 23, 2009

please bear with me...

mornin'... susan's having a little holiday lie-in, crow's already meandered off, so here you are, stuck with myself...

today's post: is 'the bear' ('l'ours') one of the greatest movies ever made? (& no, i don't think 'greatest movies ever made' is over-doing it - there are indeed such things as 'greatest movies never made')...

yeah, i know, 'fuck lists!' - they always strike me as silly & useless, &, tho, like everyone, i have favorite bands, authors, video game boss battles, dinosaurs, sound effects, etc, i don't really have any ready-made lists of favorites of these that i'm ready to whip out when conversations come 'round to such things... except for one, which i made up, somewhat spontaneously, a few years ago when emailing our son: my '13 greatest movies ever made' list. &, tho the actual list itself doesn't really have any relevance to what i wanted to write about, here it is (in no particular order) if you're curious:

the gold rush
king kong
the maltese falcon
dr. strangelove
legend of drunken master
the meaning of life
dawn of the dead
blade runner
orgy of the dead (yes, being my choice for 'most completely awful movie ever' qualifies it for this list)

like all such lists, utterly subjective (& a bit tilted toward more recent stuff), amazingly useless, but there you go...

anyway,... i made this list a few years back, &, what's kinda been interesting (if you're me, that is) is that, in the intervening years, what with all the movies, old'n'new, we've seen since, it's never once occurred to me that anything we've watched has been so good that it actually merits a re-thinking of my list (&, while we only watch movies on weekends, we've definitely seen at least a few very good ones over that time)...

well, a couple nights ago, we watched 'the bear' (for the second time, actually - we'd originally seen it maybe 10 years ago), & i find myself thinking this morning that, you know, i just might, for the first time, have to revise my little list...

i'm not going to insult the movie by attempting to describe it in words. but i can say that, yes, it does contain all those elements that just about all the greatest of movies contain: stunning cinematography, solid, timeless story (which never drags, even when it slows), humor, suspense, violence, sex, tragedy, tenderness, redemption, multiple memorable moments, perfect ending, &, of course, excellent performances - particularly by the 2 leads - who are both bears!...

if it was possible to forward everyone a copy of 'the bear', i would. i'd strongly suggest not youtubing it, as the stuff i've found, while not so bad if you've already seen it, doesn't really begin to do it justice (widescreen!). hard to say why 'the bear' has, quite out of the blue, so completely blown me away - maybe, what with the proliferation of special effects nowadays, it's the number of times i was completely flabbergasted realizing that what i was watching was a couple of real bears actually doing this stuff, &, in turn, appreciating the skill & patience demonstrated by the director & crew in so successfully capturing it (6 years in the making, all sound recordings genuine)... or, maybe, it's the other number of times i was just too floored by the beauty & simple truth of what i was seeing (& feeling) to really realize anything...

otoh, maybe, in this strange-verging-on-hallucinogenic future we find ourselves wandering in, it was just a personal need on my part for some kind of penultimate, transcendental 'feel good' movie :) . in any case, my '13 greatest movies ever made' list now contains 14 movies...


  1. I will definitely check out this movie. I love watching movies that are recommended to me by my fellow bloggers, there's always a gem in there that I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

    I can't even say what type of movie is my favorite, but I'm a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock. One of my other favorite old movies is "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse", which had Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in it. For as many times as I've watched it, I still laugh. It's a classic.

    I love the clothing and hair styles from back then. Whenever you see guys at a ballgame in the old movies, they are all wearing suits, ties and hats (and most of them are smoking big fat cigars)...and you hardly see any women at the games. I guess they're all back at home making dinner and cleaning house in their high heels. :-)

  2. Oh..I forgot to put down my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie...The Birds. Whenever I hear the birds chirping and making a racket in the early morning hours (especially in the Spring), I think of that movie. Creepy.

  3. thanks susan, I mean, numb.:) I'm always looking for movies that I would really especially like and this sounds just like one of those. I don't like lists because I have a terrible memory for the things I've seen and read and inevitably leave off the ones I liked best. ): I did love Walkabout, I know that, and King Kong when I was 9. Or so. And a few of those others. I will take your list with me the next time I rent. legend of drunken master sounds especially appealing. Tell susan hello when she wakes up.

  4. i wiki'd bear, and it was much acclaimed in france.
    i don't know if that is good or bad.

    Cindy Bear: It's the time for whispering sweet nothings in one's ear.
    Yogi Bear: Now that I can oblige.
    Cindy Bear: Oh, Yogi.
    Yogi Bear: Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Nooothing. And because you're such a good kid, here's another nothing, for nothing.

    Yogi Berra: I don't know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.

  5. Let's see if you've taught me well enough to get this task accomplished.

    Click HERE for a bear story I'd like to share with you.

    More about the top movies in my corral later. Hard to come up with the favorites without some serious thought. But I can tell you, you have at least 2 on your list that are on mine.

  6. Thanks for the recommendation, Crow. i have such a bad memory, I know I have watched many of these movies, but can't remember much of the plots! I will, give this one a try as I am currently into feel good movies, and I appreciate you taking the time to pass it on.

  7. I am a wuss, Susan. I cannot stand to see animals being hurt or trapped. I cannot take it. I am sure the movie ended well but I was so upset when the baby bear was captured in "The BEar" that I walked out of the theater. The only other movie I ever walked out of was Anger Management. I LOVE bears. Bears and weasels are my animals. I love bears so much that I can't watch the nature shows if there is any chance a baby bear will hurt, die or be separated from its mother. Yep, I am a wuss.

  8. None of the movies on your list are my favorites list. However, one of your favorites is on my least-favorites list. Yup. King Kong. One of WP's favorites and he thinks I'm classless for disliking it so. Sigh. I'd like to like it...but it just doesn't work that way. :-)

  9. mary ellen -
    cary grant? myrna loy? - you've got great taste :) ...

    rene -
    drunken master made jackie chan worshippers out of both of us :) ...

    seraphine -
    woman: can you tell me what time it is?
    yogi: you mean right now?...

    spadoman -
    you have my gratitude - amazing, beautiful post...

    lover of life -
    you'll like it :) ...

    la belette rouge -
    it's a surprisingly powerful little movie (but i think you'd be pretty pleased with how it all works out)...

    pagan sphinx -
    yikes! :) don't know what to say - maybe it's just one of those 'opposite of chick flick' movies (not sure if there's a name for them)...

  10. I'm stunned.... stunned, I tell you... that "The Gods Must Be Crazy" was not on your list!

  11. spartacus - I think he really has more than 14 :-) The Gods Must Be Crazy is certainly on my list.

  12. yeah, i mean, if i'm gonna include 'gods must be crazy', then i'm gonna have to include 'repo man' - i mean, where does it end? :) ...

  13. I lovelove The Bear! I bought it for my sons, who just yawned through it, but my 12 years younger than me brother and I loved it in the theater when it first came out.

    I'll take the items on your list that I haven't seen as must-sees. Thanks.

  14. frieda bee, md - numb said to tell you he's delighted.

    Glad to came by :-)