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  •  REVIEW: A LETTER TO TRUE

    A Letter to True

    Pup psychology

    "A Letter to True," structured as a series of letters to filmmaker Bruce Weber's golden retriever, is a meditation on life — especially life with dogs.

    By KARINNE KEITHLEY
    Offoffoff.com

    Bruce Weber's "A Letter to True" is a meandering, affectionate film structured as a sequence of letters to True, one of Weber's five Golden Retrievers. Not really about dogs, the film is suffused with dog-love, and bound by the solid positivity known well to those of us who come home to these wonderful beasts daily.

      
    A LETTER TO TRUE
    Written and directed by: Bruce Weber.
    Featuring: Palomino, Big Skye, Rain, True, Polar Bear, Guy, Cloud, Sailor, Hope, Whizzy, Jake, and Tyson.
    Narrated by: Julie Christie, Marianne Faithfull, Bruce Weber.

    Related links: Official site
     SCHEDULE
    Film Forum 209 West Houston St. (between 6th and 7th Ave.) (212) 727-8100

    Clips from "Lassie" bookend the movie. "It's a very ... odd feeling ... to be someone's God." Blossom Dearie sings, "I belong to you, and you belong to me." So Weber feels his bond with his animals.

    War photography, Vietnam, 9-11, Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Luther King and Little Haiti form part of the compendium of things drifting through Weber's letters to the pooch, many of them related to his own photography assignments. Knit together simply by the fact of being part of Weber's life, the trail is no less compelling for being without a thematic center. We pass through pockets of mini-documetaries — about Larry Burrows, who photographed Vietnam for Life magazine, about Dirk Bogarde's medical life. Martin Luther King speaks of leaving a committed life behind. A dog appears here and there: photographed in a soldier's arms, circling around the feet of Bogarde.

    A Letter to True  
    The look and feel is dreamy. June Christy, Blossom Dearie, Billy Strayhorn and others provide the soundtrack. Glorious underwater sequences of Goldens frolicking at the beach in Montauk are colorized and slightly slowed. Add to this an unshakeable loop of the sounds of visual documents of war; the tone is a weighted love. A story of one dog's death stands out as a parable of letting grief drop away into simply being present. The dog lies on its dead companion for 45 minutes without moving, then joins the others in the water. One of many points touching on the silent empathy of animals.

    Even though his dogs get acupuncture, even though we have the breed vs. mutt rift between us, I feel the same profound alteration as Weber. Life is better with beasts, and time makes simple sense.

    SEPTEMBER 10, 2004
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on A Letter to True:

  • Surfing Dog   from David Gallagher, Nov 25, 2004
  • Letter to true   from Nell Newsom, Jul 5, 2005
  • Re: Letter to true   from Kelly, Mar 8, 2006
  • "True"-ly Wonderful!   from Sherry J., Jul 15, 2005
  • Letter to True   from Patricia Ward, Sep 13, 2005
  • Re: Letter to True   from Susan, Sep 27, 2005
  • A letter to True   from karen johnston, Dec 13, 2006
  • Where is the US DVD version?   from Jason, May 24, 2008
  • A letter to true   from david richardson, Jun 4, 2008
  • true   from sue dakin, Apr 10, 2012

  • Post a comment on "A Letter to True"