Over the course of the last season, Steve sent out his media recommendations as a weekly companion to each MeatEater episode, complete with books, movies, articles, & more. We’ve compiled a fall movie list from these newsletters, with a few more bonuses added in. If you’re interested in receiving our email newsletters, subscribe here: http://bit.ly/2dGCcMk
- How the West Was Won, directed by John Ford. This classic Jimmy Stewart epic is one of the best Westerns ever made. When you get to the part where a frontiersman raises hell against some river pirates inside a cave along the Ohio River, pay attention. That cave is real, and it really was a hideout for river pirates. We filmed the Kentucky episode not far from there. Rent/buy on Amazon here.
- The Revenant (film version), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It’s a work of art from a cinematic perspective, but it’s frustrating as hell from the perspective of someone who’s infatuated with mountain man history. It’s supposedly based off the life of Hugh Glass, but the only thing they cared to get right was the fact that Glass was mauled by a grizzly bear. The movie has the action taking place in the wet and thick landscapes of British Columbia, when in fact the action occurred in the dry, open country along the interface of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. Glass did not have a son who was murdered; he did not seek revenge on the men who abandoned him; he did not rescue a maiden in distress; and he didn’t ride a horse over a cliff to escape pursuers. But still, the movie is worth seeing. Sometimes it’s fun to be annoyed. Buy online via Amazon.
- Jeremiah Johnson, directed by Sidney Pollack. The greatest mountain man movie ever made, and arguably one of the finest films of the 1970s. It’s melancholic and full of profound symbolism. You can watch this scene a hundred times and not fully understand everything that’s being said about life, loneliness, and suffering. Rent/buy on Amazon here.
- Red Gold, the movie. A powerful indictment of the proposed Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska, this documentary is worth it just for the part where the Native Alaskan is showing off the sockeyes in his smokehouse. Buy on Vimeo here.
- Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola: The mango foraging scene that almost turns into a tiger mauling scene is worth every penny. And so is the stuff about the diamond bullet. And the stuff about the gardenias. Do yourself a favor, though, and avoid the Redux version. Watch the original. If nothing else, you’ll come to see that modern day special effects are completely unnecessary when you’ve got real helicopters firing live munitions. Rent/buy online via Amazon.
- Dersu Uzala, directed by Kurosawa. This Japanese epic tells the story of a Russian surveyor in Siberia who befriends an aging indigenous hunter. It’s a heartbreaker. Watch Part 1 and Part 2 here.
- Nanook of the North, directed by Robert Flaherty. This 1920s documentary does a great job of highlighting the ancient skill sets that Inuit hunters of the Canadian Arctic were employing in the early Twentieth Century. The film is famous for blurring the lines between fact and fiction, but it’s not as bad as watching something with Bear Grylls in it. Available on YouTube
- Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, directed by Werner Herzog. This 2010 documentary chronicles the lives of modern-day Siberian fur trappers. It’s stunning and emotionally up-lifting. And it teaches you a ton of shit, including how bad you suck with a hatchet compared to the dude who still traps sable using deadfalls. Available on Netflix.