Ah, yes... the classic PBS fund raiser film, pulled out of the attic, dusted off and hyped for far more than it is to get donations. Every pledge break, the local PBS hosts redundantly chant about how this man was "alone". They detail how this man was not only capable of making a spoon from a log, but was able to set up a camera and film his amazing skills at the same time.
And yet, there are so many shots where the camera is obviously being held and controlled by another human. It follows along side him as he walks. It zooms in. It even pans side to side. And yet the masses are convinced he was "alone". Yeah, I could see buying into the concept that he set up the camera on a tripod on the beach, hit record, then got into a canoe and paddled away. And that afterward, he'd have to paddle back, shut off the camera and dismount it for the next shot. But when you get to the scenes where the camera is following along side of him as he walks, all authenticity of being "alone" is destroyed.
Then there's the incorrect speed of the film. Some of the shots from the magical walking, panning, zooming "tripod mounted camera" are faster than real time. Common for old movie cameras when the batteries were low. Batteries... batteries in the wilderness, But why wasn't this corrected when the video was mastered? It just makes him look goofy when he walks. I could be wrong, maybe he really did walk that way... possibly from the lack of toilet paper when you're "alone" in the real, raw, hard wilderness.
Cut to another pledge break and the host will drone on about how this film appeals to so many people, because, face it, we all imagine what it would be like to just leave it all behind and go survive "alone" in the wilderness. Seems it wouldn't be too rough if you had some dude stop by in a plane all the time and drop off food, supplies, "all natural" waterproof roofing materials, plants and obviously camera batteries. So... why make hinges out of a gas can if your plane buddy could bring them for you next time he stops by with batteries? If somebody spent time and money flying supplies out to you, wouldn't they need to be paid? If so, where do you get cash in the wilderness? Maybe you could borrow it from the magical walking camera.
A few more questions... What's with the narration? Why is there always a long pause after every time he says "I"? Why is the word "I" always prolonged? How can you not be killed by that bear you spent time locking out during the many weeks when there was no cabin? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy hinges from the airplane dude than destroy a gas can? Who brings a gas can to the "wilderness" if there's no gas powered engines?
Anyway, it's sad that PBS insists on making this film more than it is. If they'd stop trying to hype that he was actually alone, that he went above and beyond setting up all the camera shots and especially that he left it all behind, it would be more tolerable. After all, it does have one redeeming quality in that the almost mantra like speech patterns can be used to induce sleep, maybe even a coma.
3 out of 10 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.