Tackle Box a film by Matthew Mebane
A little gem
Reviewed on Amazon in the United States
February 9, 2017
This 13-minute film, based on Patti White's wonderful poem of the same title, is just amazing! With no spoken lines, it tells a vivid and totally comprehensible story, both sad and funny, immensely moving, and at the same time it conveys with remarkable artistry (in the words of the poem) a "tension between surface and depth." All the parts of the film -- the acting, the direction, the cinematography, and the musical score -- are perfect and blend perfectly together. It's a little gem.
An elderly couple has fished the Lowcountry waters for decades. When they are separated by death, the story turns on the strange and lingering effect of the old woman's passion for fishing, a love so powerful that it ultimately leads a group of thrill-seeking losers to a peculiar redemption. Written by Patti White
Director: Matthew Mebane
Writers: Matthew Mebane(screenwriter)
Starring: Ann Owens-Pierce, Ed Grady, Jeremy DeCarlos
Subtitles: English [CC]
Audio languages: English
Supporting actors: Brandon Roberts, Tim Parati
Producer: Matthew Mebane
Studio: Shorts International
Purchase rights: Stream instantly Details
Format: Prime Video (streaming online video)
by Patti White
People who fish have a peculiar love for equipment,
for paraphernalia, for spatial coordinates,
trajectories, for the tension between surface and depth.
People who fish know there is more to water
than can be seen by the naked eye, more to a lure
than shape and dazzle, more to filleting than a long
sharp knife; people who fish are patient, dedicated;
they understand the relation between desire and deed.
Down in South Florida, an old couple fished together
for fifty years in the green water of the salt bays,
the black water of springs in turpentine country,
the wide flat saucer of Okeechobee, the sweet rivers,
the brackish mangrove swamps, the shallow Gulf where
big rays come to breed in August, the Everglades,
fifty years on the waters of Florida, fifty years
of setting traps for bait, filling the thermos with
morning coffee, checking the barometer, scaling fish.
She had precise notions about ordering her tackle;
she kept her hooks sharp, her bloodstained stringer
neatly wound and stored; she had her own supplies:
Bandaids, Maalox, Teaberry gum, leaders, sinkers,
ten pound test line, red and white bobbers, Coppertone,
aspirin, antibiotic cream, nitroglycerin pills,
so it made sense to him, when she passed away,
to keep her ashes in her tackle box, for love.
One afternoon two thieves came to the trailer
when the old man was away and couldn't believe their luck.
They came for electrical appliances, carelessly displayed
credit cards or checks, maybe a gold watch or a wedding ring
left lying on the sink after washing up; petty thieves, young,
they came for the obvious, the quick sell to the fence
and found a metal box full of drugs near a rusty bait bucket.
They bolted from the trailer and went directly to Castroville
where Jesus Huerfano purchased the drugs for a reasonable
but not extravagant sum; the thieves walked away with cool cash
and two small packets of white powder for a treat later on.
Jesus made it a rule to sample his product and when he sniffed
he felt the rush, a rather strange sensation, rather glittery,
but certainly, clearly, a chemically induced alteration,
so the drugs went on the street that evening.
Oh that bone cocaine, the soft ash,
so fine, so white, so
insidious. Two weeks later a stock broker found himself
drawn to the Walmart where he stood staring at the lures
for half an hour, the plastic crabs, fluorescent shrimp,
the Bass Rat, Orange Poppers, the Super Guido Frog,
the Rebels, Rappalas, the Mepps Black Fury,
the Daredevils, Silver Minnows, Scattering Shad,
the 6" Twirl Tail Worms. The merchants in town were
by a run on waders, surf rods, and insect repellent. Charters
rented out to oddly inept men, sniffling trollers whose
needle-marked arms burned in the sun, teenagers
driving BMWs lurked near marinas, and two bait shops
were looted on Sunday night. The two thieves
signed up on a tuna boat and worked the season.
And Jesus Huerfano had dreams of glistening fish
skipjacks and mullet, sheepshead, silvery sea trout,
mysterious redfish, grouper, flounder, and tarpon
he dreamed of fish head soup and grainy oysters
of deep fried snapper throats and conch fritters
he dreamed of soft white sand at the bottom of the sea
and glittering bones that shifted, drifted, so gently,
with the pull of the waves overhead
he dreamed of shining bones
dancing in the current as the fish sailed by.
One Of the best shorts.
7 April 2004
You must see this short. It really is a great and moving peace. VERY VERY well directed...the whole film is amazing.
Mebane is a true director who know what he is doing, when he is doing it and the result speaks for its self. GREAT JOB 10/10 Can't wait to see what he come up with next.
This is hands down one of the best shorts I have ever had the pleasure of reviewing.Rory L. Aronsky
June 7, 2005