Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Buck" (Sundance) seems like a supplement to "The Horse Whisperer" (Disney, 1998)

At 2011 Sundance, the gentle documentary about horse whisperer Buck Brannaman, titled simply “Buck”, directed by Cindy Meehl, won the audience award.  It is now distributed by IFC.

The film documents the life-work depicted in Disney’s 1998 big budget drama “The Horse Whisperer”, for Touchstone, of Brannaman.  It starts out by making the impression that training a horse to accept a rider is a bit like conditioning an animal to accept a feline predator gnawing the back of its spine.  Brannaman survived his own abuse as a child to become an expert in how horses interact with people, and even accepted the idea of “special needs” for horses.

The film almost seems like a footnote to the history of transportation: horses were the main form of private transit until well into the 20th Century.  (Well, maybe camels during the Old Testament times.)

The film was shot in California, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, and even France.

The official site is here

I recall some bizarre experiences with seeing the original “Horse Whisperer” at a General Cinema at the Mall of America near Minneapolis.  The first third of the film was in standard aspect, before it switched to 2.35:1, and the theater said this was intentional!  I saw it on a Saturday afternoon in a largely empty large auditorium, and an overweight man came in and sat right next to me.  Then he complained about the noise of the crinkling shopping bags in my lap!

Picture: Trip to Whiteface MT. NY (no horses)

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