There will always be many interpretations of great works of art and literature, the best (and simplest) example being “Romeo and Juliet” in tights and flowing gowns re-interpreted as “Westside Story” in jeans. But I especially like how Jam-Tex encourages the broadest appreciation of the experience.
Music, Culture, and History
The River Why
Last week I got to see the world premier of the film The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival. The movie is based on the book The River Why by David James Duncan. Duncan is a famed environmental and philosophical fiction writer that weaves fantastic narratives about fishing, religion, and baseball. Duncan should be a staple of American literature. Not only is the River Why an amazing read, but so is the heart-wrenching The Brothers K, an excellent work set in the Vietnam War era.
For the most part, it is common knowledge that the book is always better than the movie. This is the case for The River Why, but that does not mean the filmmakers failed. Quite the contrary, the movie version of The River Why is really good. The film captured many of the philosophical underpinnings of the book. The book leaves the natural world to one’s imagination. Whereas the movie brings the wonderful nature of an Oregon river basin alive. My advice would be to read the book and see the movie.
Kristi: I agree. Read the book. See the movie. In whatever order you prefer.
Check out this video (featuring Zach Gilford, Kathleen Quinlan, director Matthew Leutwyler,and Screenwriter Tom Cohen) from the Red Carpet Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festival.
Note: the cast and crew appear about 5 minutes in.
William Devan as Dutch on set for "The River Why".
William Devane plays “Dutch”, a bumbling fishing reporter in The River Why. Mr. Devane became widely known for his ten years as the villainous Greg Sumner on the drama series Knots Landing and his role as President Kennedy in the TV film about the Cuban missile crisis, The Missiles of October. He appeared in the films McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Marathon Man, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Testament, Payback and Space Cowboys. He has also appeared on the television series The West Wing and 24.
Mr. Devane is expected to walk the Red Carpet at the World Premiere of The River Why at the Dallas International Film Festivalon April 14, 2010. Zach Gilford and Kathleen Quilan will also be there. You can purchase tickets here.
Great news! Amber Heard, who plays “Eddy” in The River Why, received the Dallas Shining Start Award on April 10, 2010 at the Dallas International Film Festival. According to IMDb:
Heard’s “Shining Star” was created with an eye toward celebrating actors, filmmakers, and film artists who have delivered exceptional performances or works on film in their brief careers as well as exhibiting the potential for greater achievements to come. “We couldn’t have found a better person to receive the inaugural DALLAS Shining Star Award,” said DALLAS IFF Artistic Director James Faust. “Amber has put together an incredible string of films in a few short years and is obviously just getting warmed up. We know that we’ll be able to proudly say we were among the first to officially recognize what was on the horizon for Amber Heard.“
Click here if you’d like to see some raw footage of Ms. Heard accepting her award.
Amber is a rising star who plays the lead role (and title character) in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. Ms. Heard is the female lead in Pineapple Express (opposite Seth Rogen and James Franco), The Informers (with Billy Bob Thornton and Wynona Ryder) and The River Why (with Zach Gilford). She is currently starring with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diaries and with Nicholas Cage in Angry Driver.
Kathleen Quilan on set with WIlliam Hurt in "The River Why".
Kathleen Quinlan plays Zach Gilford’s mother in The River Why. Ms. Quinlan made her film debut in George Lucas’ 1973 nostalgic look at the early sixties, American Graffiti. She has appeared in over 50 films, but is best known for her roles as Deborah in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, and for her Golden Globe and Oscar nominated role as Marilyn Lovell in 1995′s Apollo 13.
I saw a vast array of April Fool’s jokes played out on Facebook and Twitter yesterday–married friends changing their status to “single”, then being caught by their wives; HootSuite announcing that is was going to start beta testing a 3D version–but one of my favorites was a blog post by Tom Chandler on The Trout Underground: Fly Fishing’s Independent Voice. Chandler seemed to take a page out of The Onion on April 1, 2010 when he wrote “Underground Breaking News: Even Trout Think Fly Fishing’s Whole ‘How To’ Genre Way, Way Overdone“.
The seemingly endless desire on the part of fly fishermen for detailed “how-to” fly fishing articles has riled the world’s trout, whose contempt for anglers has reached a boiling point.
“You’d think that sooner or later they’d get it, and just get their *sses out the door and go fly fishing,” said one Rainbow Trout, who refused to identify his location out of fear that “every noob with a bobbicator would show up and start setting the hook at the end of each drift – just like they’d read”…
Chandler goes on to “interview” more trout, but a Westslope Cutthroat trout sums it up best when he said, “Do you sad, pathetic losers really need an article outlining strategies for untangling your leader?… I’m surprised Dr. Seuss isn’t fly fishing’s leading writer,” before getting distracted by something shiny and swimming off.
Even before production began on The River Why, Producer Kristi Denton Cohen had a vision to make the film as socially responsible and “green” as possible. Every year thousands of films are produced in the United States, but each production requires transportation, catering, wardrobe, set construction, and lots and lots of paperwork. The California Film Commission wrote the Green Resource Guide to give filmmakers some tips on how to “green” their productions, but few have tried to implement a green policy on set…until now.
Ms. Denton Cohen wanted The River Why, the coming of age the story of Gus Orviston, the “Mozart of fly fishing”, who leaves home to find himself –and fishing bliss–along the banks of a wild river, to be different.
“Every attempt to be as ‘green’ as possible was made during production – which means sustainable production practices were incorporated as much as possible,” she writes. “This doesn’t mean it was easy, but it does mean nearly 6000 plastic water bottles were eliminated from use and there was approximately a daily 40-50% diversion rate of solid waste.” For more information on their Green Report, visit: http://http://www.theriverwhy.com/About/
Kristi’s quest to “green” the production of The River Whyis portrayed in a documentary also screening at the Ashland Independent Film Festivaland the Dallas International Film Festival. Directed by Miranda Bailey (Executive Producer on THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), GREENLIT follows the production of The River Whyas the filmmakers attempt to keep an environmentally friendly set, thanks to the supervision of a “green” consultant. What starts off with great enthusiasm quickly devolves in this insightful and hilarious film about the difficulties of living up to good intentions. View the trailer here.
Eddy, played by Amber Heard, on set of "The River Why".
Amber Heard plays “Eddy”, the feisty fish-loving girl that catches the eye of Gus (played by Zach Gilford) in The River Why. Ms. Heard is a rising star who played the lead role (and title character) in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. Ms. Heard is also the female lead in Pineapple Express, opposite Seth Rogen and James Franco, and The Informers, with Billy Bob Thornton and Wynona Ryder. She is currently starring with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diaries and with Nicholas Cage in Angry Driver.
We are pleased to announce that The River Why will premiere at the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival. Screenings are currently scheduled on April 14th and 15th at 7:00pm. For festival, schedule and ticket information, please visit the DIFF website.