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[Featured]: Netflix Documentary: My Octopus Teacher

tonmo

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This was great! If you haven't seen it, do NOT click the spoiler button below :wink:

But a general comment; watch it if you can. It would seem to be a real tough octopus documentary to beat.

Brief commentary within...

I particularly appreciated the way Craig avoids disrupting the nature of things in any way, despite the huge incentive to do so. Great lesson there and I always advocate that line of thinking. With that in mind, it's pretty astounding he was able to get all the coverage and experiences with the one octopus... all while just snorkeling... incredible. What a great collection of behaviors and experiences he caught -- evading techniques, foraging, but even capturing the shark attack, losing an arm, regrowing it.... and producing offspring. This story has it all. Very well-done; I hope it gets award recognition!

Recommended; 8 arms up!


(if you want to respond in kind, you can use the spoiler feature when replying by clicking the ellipse (...) option and selecting the spoiler tag, and enter your text into that field).
 
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I watched this last night. Awesome footage especially the human octo interactions. I found it odd that Foster integrated his own midlife crisis into the narrative. Is he suggesting the octopus taught him how to be a better father?
 

dleo4590

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In a way I think. My take away from it was to enjoy life. Compared to the problems animals, especially octopus face, our struggles seem trivial to what they endure and their lives are very short lived, so don't take anything for granted. Whatever you do in life, make your choices count because your life may very well depend on it and that there are consequences for the decisions you make. Diving was one of the things he remembered he loved and brought him clarity and, in doing so, gave him a different take on life while observing what an octopus's life is like.

As mentioned he was around for about 80% of her life. He pretty much had a front row seat to what these animals endure on a day to day. It's amazing someone actually took the time to do this; it's a very rare thing. I kind of have a fear/respect for the ocean so I have a fear of being in a domain that's not meant for me. I would freak out if I saw a relatively big fish etc, so I would've never dared to do half the things Foster did, especially the night diving in Great White waters.

For me, this documentary gave me a deeper understanding that everyone has their own story, some similar, some very different. Life is beautiful, joyous, sad, even depressing at times, but to not let it get away from you. Even though I couldn't directly relate to Foster's life, I almost felt like I knew him or got a good sense of the type of person he was based on his emotions, and reactions during narration of the film. I felt what he felt and that's what caught me off guard the most; it was unexpected. His love of these amazing creatures is the common denominator and I loved his story telling. I could sit and listen to him talk or recount his adventures all day, he just has a way with words I could only imagine or dream of having.
 

TheSeeker

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I, too, was moved by the story, even though I knew that parts of it were simply a story for the sake of making a profitable movie (I cannot help noticing the different camera angles which require many cameramen and therefore many divers, which is a bit against the storyline of lonely guy befriends female octopus...)

I was extremely happy to hear that the information shared about the octopus was correct and I hope that this movie will be a milestone for the appreciation of cephalopods (and, hopefully, a step towards more funding for scientific research on cephalopods)

All in all, amazing cinematography, to the point that I will rewatch many times with pleasure!
 

tonmo

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so much for...
blocking spoilers! šŸ¤£
I found it odd that Foster integrated his own midlife crisis into the narrative. Is he suggesting the octopus taught him how to be a better father?
This immediately resonated with me; sometimes in life / career you find yourself off your path. Craig recognized he was adrift, and made a major life pivot to embrace change in hopes it would help bring him closer to his core. I've done it, it's a remarkable experience! As he was pursuing his passion he met the octopus, and learned from her - how to survive, persevere, for example - grow back a lost limb.
I, too, was moved by the story, even though I knew that parts of it were simply a story for the sake of making a profitable movie (I cannot help noticing the different camera angles which require many cameramen and therefore many divers, which is a bit against the storyline of lonely guy befriends female octopus...)
same!
I was extremely happy to hear that the information shared about the octopus was correct
same!
 

tonmo

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I'm curious what @TheSeeker thinks, but from my view, some of the "reaction" shots from the octo were surely selected from "b-roll" content, but that's to be expected. I did find myself wondering a bit about the shark interactions, at least how they were sequenced.

And it's hard to look past the filming crew, because the premise of the documentary was that this was Craig's personal journey and discovery, but there was a lot more live filming involved and necessary to capture all that action. The main shark incident happened quite a distance from the den, for example, so they had to follow her there.

Lastly, the free-diving aspect had me wondering.... that's a LONG time to hold your breath! I know with training we can do amazing things, but on the whole it became a lot to take in.

As I said, this documentary is great and it will definitely hold up. But those are the things that had me wondering... even in the greatest movies and documentaries I've seen, I find myself wondering about the editorial decisions to bring a story together... it's inevitable.
 

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