Tag Archives: Criterion Collection

Fishing With John (Episode 4)

From The Criterion Collection essay by Michael Azzerrad:

At some point in their lives, probably every sleepless person has switched on the TV in the wee hours of a weekend morning and chanced upon a fishing show. Invariably, a beefy, half-forgotten retired athlete shares a boat with some laconic, baseball-hatted master of the piscatory art, patiently awaiting a bite. The pace is glacial, the visuals unmoving, the murmur of the narrative positively narcotic. It’s the visual equivalent of ambient music. When a hooked fish finally breaks the surface, it’s as momentous as when the creature bursts out of that guy’s stomach in Alien.

The comedic potential of this mise en scène did not go unnoticed by John Lurie. Watching some droll home videos of himself and his buddy Willem Dafoe fishing together, Lurie, a man who is nothing if not always thinking, swiftly came to a brilliant realization: Here was a way to deduct his vacations from his income tax! This was the genesis of Fishing With John…(Cont.)

“Fishing With John: Episode 4” (Dir. John Lurie, 1991)

Chris