VIEWPOINTS: KISS THE WATER (Eric Steel, 2013)
Wednesday, April 24, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 4, 5:30
Saturday, April 27, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 9, 7:30
Sunday, April 28, AMC Loews Village 7, 7:00
Documentarian Eric Steel weaves together his second film, Kiss the Water, with a care and artistry similar to that his subject, Megan Boyd, employed when crafting remarkably beautiful and intricate fly-fishing lures. Steel, who made his debut with 2006’s The Bridge, about the history of suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge, makes a gentler but no less fascinating splash with his follow-up, inspired by Boyd’s obituary, which he held on to for ten years before deciding to investigate the story. Boyd was a somewhat reclusive and mysterious woman who lived by herself in the Scottish countryside by the North Sea. There, like a kind of Rumpelstiltskin, she made such amazing fishing lures as the Jock Scott, the Silver Doctor, and the Durham Ranger, which fly-fishers used on the region’s world-famous salmon runs, where salmon flock to spawn, not eat. Steel talks to a handful of people who knew Boyd, painting a portrait of a rather eclectic woman who seems to have emerged from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Steel also includes atmospheric animation by Em Cooper as well as shots of some of Boyd’s fans re-creating their favorite lures, hand made with love and respect. Among her best customers was Prince Charles, which led to Boyd being awarded the British Empire Medal by Queen Elizabeth II. It turns out that Boyd was not a fly-fisher herself, and she was not thrilled that her unique folk art was used to ultimately kill fish, but she had a talent she could not give up. Like the solitary fly-fisher, Boyd spent much of her time alone as well, but with Steel’s charming, engaging film, she should now make a whole new group of friends and admirers.