Shadow Casting: The Making of 'A River Runs Through It'

Synopsis: This made-for-video documentary treats drama fans to a behind-the-scenes look at the making of A River Runs Through It, about two brothers from Montana who seek out different paths for their futures, but still share their love of fly fishing. Features interviews with the cast and crew of the film who share their experiences from working on the project, as well as discuss the special efforts that went into bringing it all together.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Dennis Aig

Long ago, when I was a young man.. father said to me

"Norman, you like to write stories. "

And I said "Yes, I do. "

Then he said

"Someday, when you're ready... might tell our family story. "

"Only then will you understand

what happened...

...and why. "

# melancholy violin

In our family, there was no clear line

between religion and fly-fishing.

We lived at the junction of

great trout rivers in Missoula, Montana...

...where Indians still appeared

out of the wilderness... walk the honky-tonks

and brothels of Front Street.

My father was a Presbyterian minister

and a fly-fisherman.

There is one yonder...

And though it is true that one day a week

was given over wholly to religion...

...even then he told us about

Christ's disciples being fishermen.

And we were left to assume,

as my younger brother Paul and I did...

...that all first-class fishermen

on the Sea of Galilee were fly-fishermen...

...and that John, the favourite,

was a dry fly-fisherman.

The poor without Christ

are of all men the most miserable.

But the poor with Christ...

...are princes and kings of the earth.

In the afternoon, we would walk with him

while he unwound between services.

He almost always chose a path

along the Big Blackfoot...

...which we considered our family river.

And it was there he felt his soul restored

and his imagination stirred.

Long ago, rain fell on mud

and became rock.

Half a billion years ago.

But even before that, beneath the rocks...

...are the words of God. Listen.

And if Paul and I listened very carefully

all our lives...

...we might hear those words.

Even so, Paul and I probably received

as many hours' instruction in fly-fishing... we did on all other spiritual matters.

As a Presbyterian, my father believed

that man by nature was a damned mess...

...and only by picking up God's rhythms

could we regain power and beauty.


To him, all good things, trout as well as

eternal salv ation, come by grace.

And grace comes by art,

and art does not come easy.


So my brother and I learned to cast

Presbyterian style...

...on a metronome.

He began each session

with the same instruction.

Casting is an art...

...that is performed on a four-count rhythm

between ten o'clock and two o'clock.

If he had had his way, nobody

who did not know how to catch a fish...

...would be allowed to disgrace a fish

by catching it.

So it was

with my formal education as well.

Each weekday, while my father

worked on his Sunday sermon...

...I attended the school

of the Reverend Maclean.

He taught nothing

but reading and writing...

...and, being a Scot, believed

that the art of writing lay in thrift.

Half as long.

So while my friends spent their days

at Missoula Elementary, I stayed home...

...and learned to write

the American language.


...half as long.

Good. Now throw it away.



Wait for your brother!

However, there was a balance

to my father's system.

Every afternoon, I was set free,

untutored and untouched till supper... learn on my own

the natural side of God's order.

And there could be no better place

to learn than the Montana of my youth.

It was a world with dew still on it...

...more touched by wonder and possibility

than any I have since known.

Goddamn it! Open up the door!

Hey! What the hell is going on?

- Hey, where are you guys going?

- Chicken!

# jazz

Go on, move over.

But it was a tough world, too.

Even as children we understood that,

and admired it.

And of course, we had to test it.

I knew I was tough,

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this is the first script i writed. Sorry if my english is bad more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Shadow Casting: The Making of 'A River Runs Through It'" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Oct. 2021. <'a_river_runs_through_it'_17001>.

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