Great film. A big factor in what makes it enjoyable compared to a lot of recent films is that it is willing to be subtle and not think it has to tell you explicitly what is going on. A few additional notes:1) The early bit with the fire is possibly a direct homage to Jack London's short story "To Build a Fire" (thank you high school literature class).2) The film's encounters with others runs in an order, and then reverses itself. (a) Paints-His-Shirt-Red (b) Bear Claw (c) Crazy Lady's house (d) Del Gue (e) Flathead Indians and Swan, and then Del Gue, Crazy Lady, Bear Claw, and the final meeting with Paints-His-Shirt-Red. Del Gue seems to be mainly useful as the narrative device to explain the differences between the Blackfoot, Crow, Flathead, etc.
I like Jack London, but I haven't read that one. I will now. Thanks!