slothtroyer’s review published on Letterboxd:
Stumbling upon this and a few other Robert Nelson films during a late night youtube search years ago, was a true relief, a much needed affirmation. I was chaffing under the collegial idea of trying to make a career out of every artistic endeavor I attempted. What I saw in Nelson was film as a hobby, film as a personal journey, an outlet in the truest sense of the word with its reward being very much in the doing. I was learning in real time that even the silliest little experiment could be worth while for the sheer experience of it. No grand statement needed, no audience needed, simply a moment in time with you a camera and a friend or two or maybe (in the case of The Awful Backlash) a single object.
Now years later I watch this (if im being truly honest for the first time without skipping ahead) and find it cathartic. Life changes are occurring around me, some things ending some things beginning all over again. Ones mind often cant help but find kinship with this tangled up spool of fishing line. Scattered and tied up in knots that you are endlessly trying to unravel and make sense of. The relief here is seeing those patient, calm hands gathering it all up as an unseen mouth mumbles, and (spoiler) at long last makes it smooth and ready to catch fish once again...<3
I wonder about the life of this flyrod (the star of this dull 15 minute epic) I wonder how it got so tangled up and how many fish it caught after staring in this film.