A Letter to True | Chicago Reader

A Letter to True

Photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber (who directed the Chet Baker documentary Let's Get Lost) structures this essay film around a letter to one of his many golden retrievers, though it also contemplates 9/11, the ensuing war on terror, and his friendships with movie stars Dirk Bogarde and Elizabeth Taylor. The latter appears in clips from The Courage of Lassie (1946), which articulates the film's thesis—a dog sees its master as God, so the master should be suitably compassionate toward others. And in one of the more poignant anecdotes Taylor volunteers to telephone a friend of Weber's who is dying of AIDS. With its adoring treatment of big lovely dogs, this threatens to become unbearably precious, but it never quite does, thanks to Weber's rapturous color cinematography and fluid integration of the various subjects. 78 min.

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