Monday, March 17, 2008


There are many things that I can't really picture myself, or anyone else, doing. Eating fire, jumping buses on a motorcycle, catching giant catfish with my bare hands...

That last one is the subject of a documentary called Okie Noodling that I recently saw with Lesley over at Kirk and Marilyn's house.

'Noodling' is when you catch fish using your fingers as bait. When an ENORMOUS catfish bites your hand you grab him and wrestle him to shore.

To give you an idea of what it looks like, here's a youtube clip.

Now keep in mind, this clip is not from the film and is about a minute too long, but it gives you an idea of what noodling is all about.

I enjoyed the film for various reasons, certainly I liked the redneckiness and the humor that comes from watching those with red necks. But, there was more than just that. The filmmaker, Bradley Beesley, treated the subjects with so much respect and dignity. It seemed like he started the film with the intention of filming these weirdos who fish with their hands, but it turned into a portrait of some very likable guys doing something they genuinely love.

And that's what really surprised me. These guys have a deep passion for what they're doing and you can't help but admire it. I could tell that if they could make a living out of noodling they would. And they would love every minute of it.

It's certainly a very romantic ideal, commune with nature to transcend everyday life and find some sort of spirituality. It sounds like a Goethe poem.

And at only about 50 minutes long it's just the right length. Great film. Certainly worth the time.

1 comment:

  1. We've got a friend in our ward here whose Dad probably does this kind of stuff. He also had his own pet falcon that would fly around the neighborhood and eat kittens and other pets.