February 5, 2014
Aesthetica

Kiss the Water mingles fact and fiction and weaves together interview footage, landscapes, the craft of fly tying and hand painted animation to create a poetic insight into the life of Megan Boyd. Attempting to understand the woman he never met, Steel imagines a haunting backstory of fantasy and desire for his isolated subject… This enigmatic and mysterious film from the director of the acclaimed documentary The Bridge is not one to miss.

 

February 5, 2014
Milngavie Herald

All the great documentary makers – from Werner Herzog to Michael Moore – have the ability to take a niche subject and make it universal.   It’s a quicksilver skill that American filmmaker Eric Steel brings to ‘Kiss The Water’, telling the story of legendary salmon fly maker Megan Boyd.

January 24, 2014
Litro

Few lives really move in such neat, tidy and predictable patterns anyway, and in order to appreciate this form of Nonfiction cinema we must accept that the truth is something not wholly tangible. Rather than leaving no stone unturned, Kiss the Water, prefers to let your attention flow over them, marvelling at what may lie beneath… Opportunities to become enchanted in our own lives are precious few, as the many admirers of Megan’s work must have known, and for a documentary about a seemingly simple subject to achieve such a thing is a delight.

January 20, 2014
Film International

“Like Megan’s flies, which she created from an eclectic fusion of feathers, twine, ribbons and hooks, Kiss the Water can be seen as a work of art in itself. The sparse beauty of the Scottish coastline, where she lived and worked in rural isolation, is captured with a mixture of footage filmed in the remains of Megan’s ruined cottage, the said interviews with those who knew her, and animated sequences by British artist Em Cooper which blend seamlessly with the live action and a soundtrack by composer Paul Cantelon. Steel—whose previous work as a director was The Bridge (2006), a documentary that juxtaposed the grandeur of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge with it’s less appealing reputation as one of the world’s most notorious suicide spots—captures in Kiss the Water the essence of the perfect documentary…This enchanting film remains etched in the mind long after it has ended and the viewer has returned to a reality which seems somehow drab compared to her colorful and haunting private world.”

January 20, 2014
The Irish Times

4 Stars

Steel’s return to nonfiction is a lyrical affair, composed of shimmering water, rolling Highlands and swaddling tranquillity. Em Cooper’s swirling, painterly animated inserts are icing on an already pretty cake.

January 13, 2014
The Observer

4 Stars

Kiss the Water dances around the mystical ripples of salmon fishing like a perfectly cast line skimming gently across the surface of a river.  Make sure this strange little film isn’t one you let get away.

January 10, 2014
View London

4 Stars
 
Superbly made and beautifully illustrated, Kiss the Water is an utterly charming and captivating documentary that is well worth seeking out. Highly recommended.

 

 

January 10, 2014
Metro

4 Stars

Quietly spellbinding… A wee treasure.

January 10, 2014
The Financial Times

4 Stars

It’s this new film’s genius that its “loneliness of the artist” theme extends from the main human subject – Scottish spinster Megan Boyd, who lived in a solitary rural cottage crafting “flies” so beautiful they looked like mini-rainbows and caught not just salmon but also the eye and purse of Prince Charles – to the anglers themselves, reminiscing to camera on their solipsistic art.

January 10, 2014
The Guardian

3 Stars

An intriguing documentary about a real eccentric – Megan Boyd who crafted fishing flies with a passion … Cine-miniaturism with charm.

January 10, 2014
The Scotsman

4 Stars

An intriguing portrait of a woman devoted to her craft, yet one who couldn’t bear to catch and kill a fish herself… [a] gentle, artful pleasure.

January 10, 2014
The Telegraph

4 Stars

A gemlike documentary.

January 10, 2014
The Times of London

4 Stars

An odd kind of magic in every frame.

January 9, 2014
Sight & Sound

A work of mystery and magic, poetry and privacy…  (Steel) cherishes the brief, almost philosophical moment between capturing a fish and letting it go, between having it in one’s hands and liberating it back into the water.  It is this moment — of scrutiny and wonderment — that the film beautifully expands upon and illuminates.   Steel, unlike most biopic directors, allows his subject to remain elusive and free.   Kiss the Water ripples with such joy that it fully lives up to its subtitle: “A Love Story.”

January 7, 2014
TIME OUT LONDON

4 Stars

Eric Steel (who made the powerful suicide study ‘The Bridge’) turns unlikely subject matter into a captivating journey through a landscape of mystery and imagination… Definitely not your standard doc, this is something special. Haunting and meditative, its intriguing collage of images and ideas offers evocative encouragement to enter another life, another time, another place.

January 8, 2014
CineVue

“There’s no one as foolish as a fisherman,” declares one of Kiss the Water’s (2013) contributors, though it could be said that any individual attempting to create an intriguing documentary based on the life of deceased salmon fly fabricator Megan Boyd is as equally imprudent. However, Eric Steel’s elegantly sketched film, in UK cinemas this week, is almost as faint and intricate as the flies we witness being meticulously constructed throughout the film.

October 15, 2013
The Literary Flyfisher

Steel’s finished film is a piece of art, in itself.

September 3, 2013
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Eric Steel, director of “The Bridge,” lends his idiosyncratic doc voice to the story of a fly-fishing legend.

“A lyrical portrait that is equal parts journalism, speculation and tone poem, Eric Steel’s Kiss the Water follows up his divisive The Bridge (about suicides at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge) by attempting to understand an enigmatic woman who became a world-renowned maker of flies for salmon fishing. Quietly beautiful in ways that might win over viewers with no interest in fishing, it will seduce many at fests and, with the right attention, could be a small hit at the arthouse.”

September 3, 2013
TIME OUT LONDON

Kiss the Water was a magical film about Megan Boyd, a world-famous maker of salmon fishing flies (she supplied Prince Charles). The film is an exquisite achievement from US documentary maker Eric Steel…”

September 3, 2013
SCREEN DAILY

“An elegant and fascinating delight, Kiss The Water is made with insight, intelligence and a painterly delight…”

September 3, 2013
OUTDOOR HUB

Fly fishing has inspired two of my favorite films that are not just entertaining but truly works of magical storytelling, A River Runs Through It and Rivers of the Lost Coast.  Eric Steel is not your average documentary filmmaker, and this film is truly in the same league as my other fishing favorites.

September 3, 2013
EYE FOR FILM

“devastatingly luminescent…”

September 3, 2013
WONDERS IN THE DARK

“Documentary masterwork!  Kiss the Water is an elegiac and poetic documentary that takes a potentially indifferent topic – salmon fly fishing — and transforms it into the most beautifully wrought documentaries on the subject yet realized.”

September 3, 2013
KAMERA

“A documentary that takes one life of simplicity and creativity and turns it into something with a deep emotional resonance. No one knows why a salmon takes a fly, but in Eric Steel’s gorgeous documentary, the ‘why’ suddenly becomes unimportant.”