Sunday, January 17, 2010

A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It

I seldom buy DVD's, but I realize I must make an exception and buy the 1992 film A River Runs Through It. I saw it a week ago as a rerun on TV, and I'm still thinking about the characters, the landscape, the words.  The story centers around the complicated relationships of two very different boys and their father who is a Presbyterian minister, and their common love of fly-fishing in scenic Montana.  

For those like me who love the beauty of language, you will find pleasure in the off-camera narration by Robert Redford, who tells the story from the point of view of one of the sons. The narrative's rhythm matches that of the to and fro casting with fishing rods, which made me think at various times of a ballet or a waltz. The rushing of the river and the light in the sky and against the mountain tops is cinematography at its best.  There is a little poetry quoted here and there. I found myself wondering where "...splendor in the grass..." came from, researched it, and read excerpts from the poem over and over again. I realized it was not only beautiful, but relevant to the story.

This Academy-Award-winning movie is sad, beautiful, thought-provoking, and one which makes me feel wiser for having seen it. Though it  is based on a book, and we know books are always better, I'm wondering how, in this instance, it can be.

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind

     by William Wordsworth 
     Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, 175-180

A River Runs Through It


  1. I am a new fan of yours and being a cancer survivor, i find your entries to be very refreshing and calming. You make me smile, you make me think grand thoughts. I love your work, really love it.I see so many things in life differently. Thank you

  2. Bekoenig, your comments truly humble me and I am honored. We have both been blessed. I thank you.

  3. I love this movie. The scenery, the story, everything. :) I was so glad to see that you wrote about it.