Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fantasy fishing powered by human curiosity

Last night I attended a charity preview of the new British film, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – in aid of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park... Not such a tenuous connection as you may think, as sculpture isn’t naturally associated with Yorkshire. In fact, you may be inspired to travel up north to experience the first major UK exhibition of Miro’s sculpture, set amongst 500 acres of Capability Brown style grounds that are probably unaffected by the hosepipe ban.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, how about Holdsworth House, a rather grand Jacobean Manor - with curiously reasonable room rates.

Alternatively, you may decide to head off to Scotland, where there’s also plenty of water, to try your hand at some salmon fishing. Fly fishing gets a curious makeover in the new film based on the book by Paul Torday:

Having read the book when it first came out, I was expecting something a little more touching – even spiritual - from Lasse Hallstrom (director of the award winning Cider House Rules, amongst many other films and videos). The characters portrayed by the star-studded cast are suitably endearing, especially Kristen Scott Thomas as Patricia Maxwell, but the condensed version with its updated script seems somehow watered down. The book was compelling enough to read in barely more than one sitting, whereas the movie lumbers along like a salmon struggling for its life. Nevertheless, the ‘visionary’ sheik is convincing, despite his far-fetched ambitions. Though his natural powers of insight, presumably acquired from thousands of years of Middle Eastern philosophical tradition, are not conveyed nearly as well as in the book.

The positive message is that fishing is a great leveller, overcoming distinctions of class, colour and creed. Having a dream and the determination and ability to see it through are paramount – ie faith transcends purchasing power. And no amount of money will make a seemingly impossible project work if narrow minded civil servants don’t possess sufficient curiosity to look beyond the world they live in.

This story captures the essential conflict between scientific and human endeavour. The sheik’s wealth can’t buy something that’s not physically possible, but faith and a conviction in belief can go a long way towards getting anything imaginable done. The rest is pure luck. Or is it?

Anyway, if the film spawns a sudden salmon fishing frenzy, ShopCurious has just the thing – a pair of vintage fly fishing hook cufflinks. You never know, they may even turn out to be especially lucky.

Will you?


worm said...

Im interested to see this film having read also the book (which I didnt think was THAT great to be honest)I much preferred that other book 'everyman's rules for scientific living' that you recommended to me Susan

BTW I am predicting a big fishing trend over the next 18 months

Susan said...

I agree that Everyman's Rules is more of a literary classic... and it certainly hits home on the science v nature theme, worm - but Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a fun read, you don't have to think too much - though it does make you think.

Nelson Souzza said...

Hello Susan! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts( really interesting blog). Would be great if you could visit also mine...Thanks for sharing! Keep up the fantastic work!

Profoundly Superficial said...

Fly fishing cuff links? Profoundly stylish!!

Susan said...

Thanks for visiting, Nelson - your blog looks curiously fascinating - I just need a translator!

Bonefish said...

It was purely fantasizing. I loved the video as well. Also, i liked the title as it is perfectly suitable on the same.