Thursday, 18 February 2016

"And the award for best fishing film goes to ....."

Ok, so the picture above is a bit of a "spoiler", although there weren't a plethora of possible nominations!
I can only think of "A River Runs Through It" and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen", and there, it would appear, Hollywood's flirtation with angling pretty much begins and ends. Sure, there are occasional fishing scenes that appear as incidental episodes in other films, but they're not the axis around which the film pivots.
Of the two films mentioned, "A River Runs Through It", in my opinion, is by far the better film. I enjoyed both, but the fishing scenes, breathtakingly beautiful Montana backdrop and intense pathos of Paul Maclean's (played by Brad Pitt) self destructive descent to tragedy make "A River Runs Through it" the fishing film against which any future angling related films will be measured.
I recently discovered that hardly any of the anglers in our church's fishing club had seen the Robert Redford directed classic, and so last night about half of the club members invaded my living room to further their cinematographic angling education. Needless to say, the film was universally enjoyed.
As a work of art it combines the ability to fill the viewer with a sense of awe, wonder and beauty, but also to reflect on dysfunction within family relationships, matters of faith (the father of the family is a Presbyterian minister who believes that "trout, as well as eternal salvation, come by grace"), love, loyalty and addiction. There are moments of poignancy and sharply drawn observation, and in the occasional passages narrated straight from the book upon which the film is based, the opportunity to enjoy Norman Maclean's masterful prose.
This film is, quite simply, a "must see" for anyone, who, like Norman, the storyteller in the film, is aware that they are "haunted by water."


1 comment:

  1. It was probably the most beautifully shot film I've ever seen.