‘KISS THE WATER’ BY ERIC STEEL

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‘KISS THE WATER’ BY ERIC STEEL

Karlie reviews 'Kiss the Water' at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

By Karlie Simmonds

I arrived at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Wednesday with a whole day ahead of me to watch as many films as I could. I wanted to be entertained, to soak up the atmosphere and to experience the finest International filmmaking the Festival had to offer. You can imagine my surprise then as I clutched the press and industry film screenings list and found myself faced with the first film of the day, ‘Kiss the Water’ a documentary on Fly Fishing, directed by Eric Steel. 

I looked forlornly at the steward. I was about to ask him if they had any paint I could watch dry instead, when, suddenly, a wild-haired Irish man appeared.  He looked typical of Festival reviewers - in a flux of motion, clinging on to a paper coffee cup, press pass swinging from his neck.  He looked fun. ‘What are you watching? ‘I asked him.  ‘Kiss the Water’ he replied. I looked at him, and before I could stop myself, the word ‘Really?’ blurted out of my mouth. He nodded enthusiastically and took a huge gulp of coffee (probably not his first of the day) before saying, ‘The producer told me it was good’.

I raised a cynical eyebrow, resisted the urge to tell him the producer would hardly tell him not to bother, and looked back at the film listings.  Could I watch a film about a woman who made fish flies? Surely it would be boring. Then it occurred to me I should just allow myself to absorb the festival, to trust the festival programmers, and so I followed him (at a safe distance) into the theatre.

We were soon joined by a few others and sat in the darkness exchanging tortured glances. One guy even went so far as to joke, ‘Let’s tell everyone it was good even if it’s not’.  We laughed nervously.

What happened next is typical of any good narrative. Of course it was brilliant. Of course we were captivated. As ‘Kiss the Water’ unfolded before us, we learned about the life of Megan Boyd, Master of Fish Flies. Megan lived in Brora and was internationally respected for her mastery of tying fish flies.  I learnt about this eccentric lady who dressed as a man, was friends with Prince Charles, made a special Fish Fly for Princess Diana as a wedding present, rode a motorcycle too fast along the country roads, lived in a cottage with no electricity and running water, and acted as a warden in the Second World War.

She tied fish flies so well they have become collector’s items and held on display in museums. It was an incredibly entertaining story. The film was interspersed with some of the most stunning oil painted animation of fish swimming I have ever seen, which in fairness is not that much, but it was still beautiful. 

Animation Director Em Cooper has created something wonderful, reminiscent of the romance of Jack Vetriano.  As a hopeless romantic chick, the love story ‘Kiss the Water’ was a real gem of the festival for me. I encourage you to seek it out.  It proved to me that I should be more open minded about films and that the Edinburgh Film Festival knows its stuff.

http://iamkarlie.com/

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