The Bridge (2006) - News Poster

(I) (2006)


Two Docs About Eccentric Women And Their Art: Kiss The Water And Iris

A look at the list of my favorite movies from 2014 reveals the presence of six extraordinary nonfiction films, and that’s just a taste of the seeming hundreds of docs released last year-- not all of them extraordinary, of course, but all of them indicative of a trend toward the making of the availability of more nonfiction filmmaking than it seems we’ve likely ever seen in this country. And speaking of availability, the six I listed—Ron Mann’s Altman, Joey Figueroa and Zak Knutson’s Milius, Orlando von Einsidel’s Virunga, Chaplain and Maclain Way’s The Battered Bastards of Baseball, Stephanie Spray and Pancho Velez’s Manakamana and Errol Morris’s The Unknown Known— were all pictures I caught courtesy of Netflix Streaming. (Virunga was actually produced under the company’s auspices.)

I have a special place in my cinematic heart for nonfiction, both bound between covers and on the screen,
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Kiss the Water – review | Peter Bradshaw

An intriguing documentary about a real eccentric – Megan Boyd who crafted fishing flies with a passion

What seems at first an impossibly flimsy and meagre documentary subject slowly reveals itself as cine-miniaturism with charm. Eric Steel – who directed The Bridge, about suicides on San Francisco's Golden Gate – was inspired by a New York Times obituary of Megan Boyd. Boyd had lived in a tumbledown cottage in remote northern Scotland and had been awarded the British Empire medal for creating fishing flies with passionate dedication and craft. Fishing aficionados and connoisseurs valued her work, and jealously guarded their relationship with her. The Prince of Wales was a regular customer. Steel talks to Boyd's friends, neighbours and customers and builds up an intriguing portrait of a real eccentric: a woman who dressed mannishly, drove outrageously, danced vigorously and played bridge with abandon. Teasingly, Steel withholds footage of Boyd until the end, and
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Fortissimo swims in Steel’s Water

  • ScreenDaily
Fortissimo swims in Steel’s Water
Sales outfit picks up Eric Steel’s Tribeca and Edinburgh documentary Kiss the Water.

Fortissimo Films has picked up rights to Eric Steel’s Tribeca and Edinburgh documentary Kiss the Water.

The deal was done by Fortissimo’s executive vice president sales and acquisitions Winnie Lau with producer/director Steel.

Kiss the Water tells the story of a Scottish woman whose life, livelihood and love were wrapped up in the mysterious fishing flies she created from bits of exotic feather, fur and tinsel.

Steel previously directed 2006 doc The Bridge.
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Fly Fishing Documentary ‘Kiss The Water’ Hooks Fortissimo

Fly Fishing Documentary ‘Kiss The Water’ Hooks Fortissimo
Hong Kong – Documentary, “Kiss The Water” by Eric Steel has landed a sales agent in Hong Kong- and Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Films.

“Water” documents the life of Scottish woman Megan Boyd, whose lifetime work is tying artificial flies for salmon fishing. She invests each fly with metaphor and meaning.

The picture premiered in Tribeca in April and subsequently played at the Edinburgh Int’l Festival.

Steel is a former executive turned film-maker with previous jobs at Walt Disney Pictures, Cinecom and Scott Rudin Productions and producing credits that include “Angela’s Ashes” and the Nora Ephron-directed “Julie and Julia.”

Fortissimo previously handled Steel’s “The Bridge,” a divisive documentary about the people who commit suicide by leaping from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

“With dazzling photography and evocative imagery and wonderful hand-painted animation [Steel]reveals the emotional depths and truly universal metaphors of the world of fly fishing,” said Winnie Lau,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Kiwis ban Maniac but Australia release planned

Maniac, a horror movie starring Elijah Wood as a serial killer, won.t be released commercially in cinemas or on DVD in New Zealand after being given a festivals-only classification.

The Australasian distributor Monster Pictures is disappointed by the Kiwi Office of Film and Literature Classification ruling but is confident the film will be cleared for cinema and DVD release in Australia.

.We don.t anticipate any problems here,. said Monster.s Neil Foley, who is about to submit the film to the Australian Classification Board.

Last year the board granted the film an exemption enabling it to screen to audiences aged 18+ at the Melbourne International Film Festival, Monster Fest and the Cockatoo Island Film Festival.

Maniac is the first film to get a festival-only classification in New Zealand since The Bridge, Eric Steel's documentary which showed people jumping to their deaths from San Francisco.s Golden Gate Bridge,
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Maniac Banned in New Zealand

Attention, New Zealand... Get a grip, will ya? According to Deadline, New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification says Maniac can be shown only if it’s being used in a tertiary media, a film studies course, or screened as part of a festival. It cannot and will not be shown theatrically.

The ruling also means the film cannot be released on DVD. The ban beyond festival screenings “is an insult to the intelligence of the adult population of New Zealand and does little more than to serve as an open invitation to illegally pirate the film. We are flabbergasted,” said Neil Foley of Melbourne, Australia-based distributor Monster Pictures.

In a blog post, Monster said it will “explore every option” to have the ban revoked, “but at this stage it ain’t looking good.” Maniac is the first film to receive the festival-only classification since Eric Steel’s
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Trailer Trash

A documentary celebrating the eccentric master of fish flies, Megan Boyd; how Mamma Mia! star Dominic Cooper got a taste for real ale; and Woody Allen steps out from behind the camera

Fishing for film gold

The Edinburgh international film festival starts this week, casting its net wide with Korean films and American indies. But this 67th edition might be remembered for a very local tale and one of the unlikeliest documentaries that's ever hooked me. It's called Kiss the Water: A Love Story, a portrait of an eccentric, almost hermit-like woman called Megan Boyd who became the world's foremost maker of salmon flies. Seriously. Prince Charles was one of her loyal clients, even delivering her OBE to her cottage because Boyd couldn't be bothered with the fuss of going to the palace to accept it from the Queen.

The film is by American doc maker Eric Steel, whose last film,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #37: Eric Steel Tells the Magical Dream Story of Fishing Fly Artisan in 'Kiss the Water'

Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #37: Eric Steel Tells the Magical Dream Story of Fishing Fly Artisan in 'Kiss the Water'
A former executive for Disney and Scott Rudin, Eric Steel decided he wanted to make movies instead of sit behind a desk. While he's produced films such as "Bringing Out the Dead" and "Julie and Julia" and made his directorial debut with "The Bridge," Steel brings us his first documentary feature with "Kiss the Water." Through both animation and documentary the film tells the story of internationally renowned fishing fly-maker Megan Boyd from the highlands of Scotland. What it's about: It’s at once a documentary and a dream -- about a woman I knew only from her obituary. She lived in a cottage all alone, spinning fishing flies that were magical and deadly. About the filmmaker: I worked for many years as an executive -- at Disney, then at Cinecom, and then for Scott Rudin. I told people I made movies, but mostly I sat behind a desk and talked about making movies.
See full article at Indiewire »

Tribeca Exclusive: Poster from Eric Steel's Fly-Fishing Artist Documentary 'Kiss The Water'

Tribeca Exclusive: Poster from Eric Steel's Fly-Fishing Artist Documentary 'Kiss The Water'
Since his directorial debut with 2006's controversial Tribeca-screening documentary "The Bridge," Eric Steel has kept relatively quiet, with only a producing credit on the Julia Child biopic "Julie and Julia" to his name in the years since. But now 7 years later, Steel is returning once again to Tribeca with his second documentary feature "Kiss The Water," and we have an exclusive poster of his new film ahead of its world premiere during this month's festival. "Kiss The Water," follows renowned fly fishing expert Megan Boyd, living remotely in Scotland's northern highlands, whose self-taught and made fishing flies have brought her great acclaim and reverence, making her something of a legend among fly-fishing enthusiasts. With admirers as distinguished as Prince Charles, among others, she has throughout her life become internationally renowned for her startling abilities, which Steel documents through interviews, animations, and stunning images of the landscape that she calls...
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Tribeca Awards Go to 'When We Leave,' 'Monica & David'

Tribeca Awards Go to 'When We Leave,' 'Monica & David'
The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival handed out its jury awards last night, in a reportedly swift ceremony held at NYC's W Union Square hotel. The winners of the narrative competition were chosen and presented by a group including actresses Hope Davis and Cheryl Hines, actor Aaron Eckhart, writer John Ridley (U Turn) and directors Gary Winick (13 Going on 30), Gary Ross (Pleasantville) and John Hamburg (I Love You, Man). The German drama Die Fremde (When We Leave) took the top prize, called The Founders Award, while the film's star, Sibel Kekilli, won Best Actress. Other narrative honors went to director Kim Chapiron (Dog Pound), actor Eric Elmosnino (Gainsbourg, Je t'Aime...Moi Non Plus) and the Italian film Mine vaganti (Loose Cannons), which received a special jury mention "for making us laugh, cry and immediately want to book a trip to Southern Italy."

Documentary winners Monica & David, Budrus and director Clio Barnard (The Arbor
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Jessica Alba, America Ferrera, Alicia Keys among stars named Tribeca jurors

The juror panel at the Tribeca Film Festival is going to look like the red carpet at a major Hollywood premiere.

Several celebrities, including Jessica Alba, Whoopi Goldberg, Aaron Eckhart and Brooke Shields, were asked to serve on the six competitive festival categories. They will announce the winning films, filmmakers and actors in their respective categories at the Tff Awards Night Party, which will be held on April 29. The 2010 Tribeca Festival runs from April 21 to May 2 in New York City.

“This year’s jury features the same impressive range and depth as our films playing in competition. They are distinctive and accomplished storytellers, artists and entrepreneurs from the worlds of film, theater, culture, fashion, television and new media – all of whom share a passion for film, a thirst for discovery and a spirit of independence,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Here’s a list of all
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Jessica Alba among Tribeca jurors

Jessica Alba among Tribeca jurors
The Tribeca Film Festival announced Tuesday morning the 35 jurors for its six competition categories.

Filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, journalists and media figures such as Aaron Eckhart, Jessica Alba, Cheryl Hines, America Ferrera, Alicia Keys, Zach Braff, Hope Davis, Gary Ross, Whoopi Goldberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey will participate on the juries.

"This year's jury features the same impressive range and depth as our films playing in competition," fest co-founder Jane Rosenthal said. "They are distinctive and accomplished storytellers, artists and entrepreneurs from the worlds of film, theater, culture, fashion, television and new media -- all of whom share a passion for film, a thirst for discovery and a spirit of independence."

Winners in the world narrative, world documentary, New York narrative, New York documentary, narrative short and documentary and student short film categories will be announced at the awards night party April 29. Together, the six juries will award $130,000 in cash and prizes,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Interview: Eric Steel

  • Your eye immediately finds him among the passersby. Tall, saturnine, long raven hair fluttering in the breeze, the obligatory dark glasses and leather jacket. Contemplative, almost brooding, he resembles some troubled figure emerged from rock and roll mythology. Morrison just after he arrived in Paris. Leaning forward, he looks out over the water, just another tourist taking in the famous view. Until he climbs onto the railing, spreads his arms as if they were wings, and drops from the frame. For a moment you forget he can’t fly. Every year, more people commit suicide on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge than anywhere else in the world. In his thoughtful, provocative, ultimately enthralling documentary The Bridge (2006)The Bridge
[/link], director Eric Steel (executive producer of Angela’s Ashes) explores the pain that compels people to embark on that final plunge. Steel and his crew spent an entire year watching the celebrated national landmark.
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The Bridge

The Bridge
SAN FRANCISCO -- Eric Steel's documentary, The Bridge, opens with a picturesque shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the great architectural and engineering feats of the 20th century. Less than five minutes into the film, a man casually climbs over the bridge railing and jumps 225 feet to his death in the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay. This is one of six such episodes shown in the film out of more two dozen caught by Steel's camera crew, who shot the bridge every day in 2004. (One man happily chats on his cell phone moments before leaping.)

Despite Steel's admirable intention to stimulate discussion about two taboo subjects -- suicide and mental illness -- its morbid fascination with the physical reality of death and what drives people to override the primal instinct to survive is what sustains interest in an otherwise unremarkable film. The Bridge has a television deal with IFC, which plans to broadcast it sometime in 2007.

Lengthy interviews with family and friends of the six victims, culled from over 100 hours of footage, needs tighter editing, and are, for the most part, presented in a mundane fashion. Steel cuts back and forth between those interviews and Peter McCandless' awe-inspiring cinematography of the bridge, captured at nearly every time of day and from every conceivable angle. Eerie music by Alex Heffes sets a mood of apprehension and dread.

The rhythm is repetitive and grows monotonous. In fact, the entire film could have used a more structured approach. "What was in their minds when they jumped?" is asked over and over again by those left behind. The question is given a partial answer by Kevin Hines, 25, who struggled with mental illness for most of his young life, and miraculously survived his jump into the bay. Segments that feature him are engrossing.

Steel, who produced major Hollywood features such as Angela's Ashes, Bringing Out the Dead and Shaft, works on a smaller, more intimate scale in his directorial debut. One of the faults of the film is its perspective is too narrow. Steel may have chosen to do this in an attempt to force the audience to confront the central issue, though he decided to make the film after reading Tad Friend's New Yorker article, Jumpers, which provided context by looking at the debate over whether or not a suicide barrier should be installed on the bridg.

When first screened at the San Francisco Film Festival, the film met with protests and controversy. For one, Steel misled the bridge district as to the purpose of the filming. And, even though the victims chose to commit suicide in a public setting, there's an ethical question in regard to showing images of people going to their deaths, some shot through a telephoto lens. It's a violation of their privacy on what had to be the loneliest and most desperate day of their lives and a form of voyeurism, however inadvertent. Still, it's difficult to avert one's eyes and therein lays the problem. These moments are inherently dramatic, shocking -- and, for some, perversely exciting to watch.

The Bridge

IFC presents an Easy There Tiger Production


Writer/director: Eric Steel

Producer: Eric Steel

Executive producer: Alison Palmer Bourke, Evan Shapiro

Director of photography: Peter McCandless

Music: Alex Heffes

Editor: Sabine Krayenbuhl

No MPAA rating

Running time -- 93 minutes

Tribeca dispatch #6

  • [Pierre-Alexandre Despatis suffers for his cinema. Now covering his second edition, our official festival reporter and multi-function human cyborg will provide us the sights (plenty of cool pics!), the sounds, the reviews and the occasional interviews of the still very young 5th edition of the Tribeca film festival. Below are some of Pierre-Alexandre’s reviews in easy to read, insightful capsule form. Enjoy!] The BRIDGEMany documentaries about suicide and suicide-related subjects vary in their aesthetics; Eric SteelEric Steel
[/link]’s The Bridge really stands among Tribeca’s other documentary selections. There is something eerie about the doc, the unpleasant sight of seeing people jumping off the bridge brings back thoughts of those who had the same fate with the World Trade Center – except here the debate is about the choice. The other jarring item is that the film contains interviews with the families of the people who we see committing suicide – reliving the final moments of their loved ones. The filmmaker filmed the bridge from a distance and later contacted the families of the jumpers they filmed. The result is a very unique and strange montage! The interviews with the families are truly outstanding and they avoid any over-dramatization. Made in collaboration with IFC, the film will definitely find its way outside of the Tribeca film festival.
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