The grizzly bear has scored its fair share of movie roles. Its the beleaguered cub of Jean-Jacques Annauds ode to nature, The Bear, the object of ill-fated Timothy Treadwells obsession in Werner Herzogs documentary Grizzly Man, and has had its anatomy revised for maximum cuddliness by Disney on more than one occasion. Californians will be most familiar with the bear through its filmic lives, since the last living Grizzly in the state, Monarch, died in captivity in 1911. Sabrina Alonsos visual essay, Grizzly Road, ponders Monarchs fate, as well as that of his kin, who were no match for the human steamroller that was Manifest Destiny. Alonsos camera captures whats left of the Grizzly in California: carvings sold at roadside tourist hubs dressed as the cowboys and pioneers who hunted them out of existence. Under her gaze, its apparent how macabre their costuming is. Alonsos film doesnt just eulogize the bear, but explores the tenants of Westward Expansion that allowed progress to eradicate Grizzlies and Native Americans while solidifying their idealized place in history. Alonso attends this screening in person.
Sat., Aug. 16, 8 p.m., 2008