Ticket alert: John Lurie presents his celeb-studded fishing show at Nitehawk
The actor, painter, and musician answers your questions about his curious TV series.
Mon Apr 1 2013
As an actor, John Lurie is best known for his deadpan turns in several Jim Jarmusch films. As a musician, he led downtown punk-jazz group the Lounge Lizards for the better part of three decades. And as an artist, his main postmillennium pursuit, Lurie has sold paintings to the MoMA and has been featured in a show at PS1. But Fishing with John, a five-episode series directed by and starring Lurie, remains one of the strangest and most beguiling things in his oeuvre.
The program, a send-up of Saturday-morning fishing programs, follows Lurie and a celebrity guest as they venture out on the water to catch red snapper, squid and other water prey (guests include Willem Dafoe, Tom Waits, Jim Jarmusch and Dennis Hopper). The commentary often hits existential, absurdist notes, reflecting on the boredom and pointlessness of the task at hand. In a representative screen cap above, Lurie and Jarmusch—tired of their attempts at more traditional methods—are baiting a shark with a slice of cheese. Lurie stands at the ready to shoot the leaping creature with a handgun.
With those prolific film and music credits to his name, Lurie has keep a relatively low profile in recent years. He's been recovering from advanced Lyme disease, and in 2010, he was the subject of a New Yorker feature, which portrayed him as reclusive and paranoid (a claim refuted by Lurie and others). Since then, he's joined Twitter, and in November, he appeared at a sold-out Fishing with John screening, where he participated in a Q&A. If you missed that one-off—and odds are you did—Lurie will reprise the event, appearing with episodes of the show again this April at Nitehawk Cinema. Those interested should act quickly: Tickets for the April 17 event have already disappeared.
Nitehawk will present two Fishing with John programs: Part I on April 17 and 24 features the Willem Dafoe, Tom Waits and Dennis Hopper episodes, with a short film based on Lurie's paintings called "First and Royal Queen." Part II on April 20 features the Waits episode along with Lurie's rarely shown 1979 film, Men in Orbit, along with "First and Royal Queen" and the Lurie-directed video for the Lounge Lizards song "Big Heart."