offoffoff film



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Film section
  • Film main page
  • Film archive
  • Audio index
  • Film links

    Top 10 lists

  • Top 10 films of 2004
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2003
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2002
  • Top 10 films of 2001
  • Top 10 films of 2000
  • Top 10 films of 1999
  •  All of our top 10 lists, 1999 - 2004

    Current movies

  • Afterschool
  • Antichrist
  • Babies
  • Broken Embraces
  • Dare
  • District 9
  • The End of Poverty?
  • Fix
  • Food Beware
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Pirate Radio
  • Precious
  • Red Cliff
  • The September Issue


  • Brooklyn International Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival


    Complete archive

    Recent reviews:
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer
  • The Art of the Steal
  • The Beetle
  • Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  • Boy A
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • Burn After Reading
  • Cold Souls
  • The Duchess
  • Elegy
  • Enlighten Up! A Skeptic's Journey Into the World of Yoga
  • Five Minutes of Heaven
  • Flame and Citron
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • The Human Condition
  • Hunger
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • King of Shadows
  • The Lemon Tree
  • Lorna's Silence
  • A Man Named Pearl
  • Man on Wire
  • Memorial Day
  • Mister Foe
  • Morning Light
  • My F├╝hrer
  • My One and Only
  • Paris
  • The Pervert's Guide to Cinema
  • Peter and Vandy
  • Police, Adjective
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • A Secret
  • Sleep Dealer
  • St. Trinian's
  • Thirst
  • Throw Down Your Heart
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor
  • What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Wild Grass
  • Jay DiPietro


    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.


    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.

    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
    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

    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"