"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
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.
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.
|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.
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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.
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|
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Reader comments on A Letter to True:
true from sue dakin, Apr 10, 2012
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