Friday, April 1, 2016


Sorry for the hiatus, but we're back!

It was brought to my attention that on all the previous seasons I never talked about the actual fish that John & his guests search for (an important aspect of the show that I completely ignored), so I'll be correcting that from this point on...

Braschi, her husband Roberto Benigni & Lurie promoting Down By Law
1. Both worked together on Down By Law
2. Lurie did the soundtrack for a film in which Braschi co-starred in (Mystery Train)

Fish Species: Acipenser
Fishing With John is now officially a hit (seven seasons with two more on the way equals success to me). Because of the shows now crossover appeal, Lurie & IFC would end up getting a lot of viewer complaint mail about the lack of women on the show (up to now Claire Denis & Madonna have been the only two female guests). This season would align with the crossover success of Life Is Beautiful - a film co-starring Lurie's personal friend Nicoletta Braschi (wife of season two guest Robert Begnini). This is the perfect opportunity for these old friends to catch up, and for Lurie to get more international exposure for the show by going to Italy (Braschi's homeland). Besides last season's Lars Von Trier episode, which had to take place in Denmark as LvT doesn't fly, this entire show has taken place on North American soil.

1. Nothing directly but Lurie did appear (briefly) in the sequel to Smoke (Blue In The Face)

Fish Species: Guadalupe Bass
This one is interesting. Forest Whitaker & John Lurie always seem to "miss" each other in the world of film. Forest Whitaker co-starred in Smoke yet didn't reprise his role in the sequel (Blue In The Face) which featured John Lurie (only a brief scene) as both an actor and music composer. Forest Whitaker worked with Scorsese on The Color Of Money and Lurie would go on to appear in Scorsese's follow-up film The Last Temptation Of Christ. Lurie stopped working with Jim Jarmusch in the 90's, and Forest Whitaker went on to work with Jarmusch in the late 90's (Ghost Dog).
This is probably around the time that Jarmusch & Whitaker started prepping for Ghost Dog, so naturally these guys would have plenty to talk about as they fish for Guadalupe Bass (a fish common in Forest Whitaker's hometown of Texas).

1. Wright & Del Toro appeared in a film about Lurie's friend Jean Michele Basquiat
*Basquiat also features two original Fishing With John alumni (Willem Dafoe & Dennis Hopper)
2. Lurie would go on to score a film co-starring Del Toro (Excess Baggage)
3. Jeffery Wright would go on to work with Lurie's friend Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers & Only Lovers Left Alive)

Fish Species: Porgy
Will John Lurie embrace these two young actors who are on the rise? Or will he use this entire episode to correct them on what they got wrong about both Basquiat's life and the whole down NYC seen shown in Basquiat? You'll have to tune in to find out...

The Big Lebowski
1. nothing directly but both have worked with a lot of the same NYC-based filmmakers & actors. It just makes sense...

Fish Species: Blue Fish
The Big Lebowski would have been around this time so it's the perfect opportunity for Turturro to promote what would go on to become a future cult classic. Both guys are native New Yorkers so I see them travelling to some obscure fishing spot in Queens or Long Island (sidenote - my uncle, another native New Yorker like Lurie, is quite the fisherman so I know a lot of cool fishing spots to go between Queens & Long Island).
I envision Turturro taking this time to ask Lurie why Jim Jarmusch hasn't cast him in anything yet (I don't know about you but I find it odd that Turturro has yet to work with Jarmusch given they both travel in the same circles and have worked with a lot of the same people). John would probably get annoyed at the question because he's sick & tired of being associated with Jim (something that commonly happens in this series). 

1. Again - nothing directly but it just makes sense

Fish Species: Sanma
I know Takeshi Kitano doesn't need to work in "Hollywood" or English-speaking cinema. He has his own fanbase/following in Japan but I really think Hollywood/English-speaking cinema dropped the ball by not casting him as a villain in more mainstream films over the years. Perhaps his appearance on this now hit show could give him some more exposure to American audiences.
Kitano's homeland of Japan would serve as the perfect backdrop for this two-parter (parts of Japan are obviously big on fishing) yet the language barrier might cause some friction (if I'm not mistaken, Takeshi Kitano speaks little to no English).


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