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Food-Related Films


monavano
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I just watched Tortilla Soup again on TV. What a great movie to wake up to.

Never saw it. But did see Eat Drink Man Woman. Did you see it and which do you think is better?

I know if I put down a couple favorites now, I'll end up just having to edit the post a thousand times because I'll think of new ones constantly as days go by!

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I just watched Tortilla Soup again on TV. What a great movie to wake up to. I love the food and cooking in this movie. The rest of it is good too.

But I found myself with major kitchen envy whilst drooling over the food scenes.

Any other favorite food movies?

Tortilla Soup is one of those rare films that is predicated on another film (Eat Drink Man Woman) and comes out well. I enjoy watching them back to back. Another example (though irrelevant here) is Criminal, which is a pretty good American version of the brilliant Argentine movie, Nueve Reonas.

Some random thoughts... I think Big Night is precious and overacted.

I absolutely recommend Mostly Martha, in German, which is a beautifully done document (not documentary) about a talented chef who learns to enjoy her own product through the human predicament she goes through.

Gosford Park, one of the great films of all time, I think, is largely about the British aristocracy's insensitivity to what they are eating. A valuable food film in a reverse way. Where else could you learn that upper class Brits use use two forks, not a knife and a fork, to eat fish? There. Now you know. And so what?

Julian Fellowes, who wrote Gosford Park, has a new movie, Separate Lies, which is kind of soap operatic. but there is an indelible scene in which Emily Watson fastidiously prepares a party platter. There is such precision and speed and anger with which she does it that you know something violent is coming. A great use of foreshadowing.

But hey, movies are no less about food than life is. I could go on and on, and so could you. The test is whether the vividness of the screen awakens your olfactory sense.

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Tampopo! It makes me so hungry for ramen, although my favorite scene is the girls' etiquette class at the Italian restaurant.

You watched Tampopo and your favorite scene is the etiquette class? Not passing the raw egg yolk from mouth to mouth, unbroken? Not shrimp drowning in saki on someone's tummy? Not the oyster girl scene?

Still the sexiest food movie ever.

StephenB: you think Big Night is precious and overacted and like Mostly Martha? I'd suggest that you have the criticisms reversed, and that Martha is a formula wrapped up in a cliche -- or perhaps vice verse -- but I actually like them both.

How about The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.

Also, the food scene in Tom Jones is a classic.

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You watched Tampopo and your favorite scene is the etiquette class?  Not passing the raw egg yolk from mouth to mouth, unbroken?  Not shrimp drowning in saki on someone's tummy?  Not the oyster girl scene?

Oh, I found those scenes tremendously sexy. But... well, I can't show this film to my husband because he's terribly squeamish about "weird" foods, and those scenes would not exactly have a favorable effect. Sigh. What a waste.

After seeing Fried Green Tomatoes, I have a little aversion to eating pulled pork.

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Babbtte's Feast never did it for me. Not sure why. Similarly Like Water For Chocolate left me cold.

Tampopo of course. Big Night, for Stan Tucci's performance.

Chocolat? Not a fabulous movie but offers delicious eye candy. I need to see it again.

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, yes, but not in a good way. I loved the film but Michael Gambon's combination of gluttony and violence is crushing.

On to television...Twin Peaks anyone?

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daughters of the dust, for its sumptuous picnic, although this movie really puts me to sleep.

nothing specific comes to mind, but the french excel at putting food and drink in the cinema, especially champagne and picnics. you can get fed really well in a film by renoir. is it "grand illusion" where the little boy wants to eat the baby jesus? with the picnics, (a day in the country, le bonheur) the food brings everyone together, and then something unexpected happens, like the wife with the adulterous husband jumping in the lake.

peter greenaway is more interested in decomposition, and i don't think his movies have much good to say about food, the stench of death is just too loud. we go to greenaway to see things rotting.

jean luc godard is always good for cafes and cups of coffee with the cream swirling in them like the universe. weekend is a great movie, but again its reference to food is murder, mayhem and cannibalism and the decline of capitalism. the mother's murder is depicted by her blood splashing on a skinnned rabbit, and a young woman's preparation for the table begins with breaking an egg and stuffing her with a fish -- tres droll.

actually, poisoning is something they do fairly well, and often,` in the movies. after notorious, maybe something by chabrol? my memory has grown dim about movies i loved decades ago and haven't had the chance to see since (since they tore down the circle theatre).

and slapstick food fights are a cinematic tradition, though you usually wouldn't have wanted to eat the food in the first place.

(around my mother in law's dinner table, they used to joke about who had the ground cat's whiskers in their mashed potatoes.)

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I second.  That's a beautiful film.

I love that the "hero" of the film is Italian food, which is as it should be.

My favorite two are "Big Night" and "Eat Drink Man Woman." Nothing else even comes close. I couldn't bear the dourness of the people in "Babette's Feast."

However, I think I need to see "Le Grand Bouffe": "A group of men hire some prostitutes and go to a villa in the countryside. There, they engage in group sex and resolve to eat themselves to death." It's got Marcello Mastroianni and Ugo Tognazzi (having some fun here <--- NOTE: R-rated pic).

I remember liking "A Chef in Love," though it's been years since I've seen it.

Not a food film per se, but I liked a lot of the food scenes in "Joy Luck Club"

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I love that the "hero" of the film is Italian food, which is as it should be.

My favorite two are "Big Night" and "Eat Drink Man Woman." Nothing else even comes close. I couldn't bear the dourness of the people in "Babette's Feast."

However, I think I need to see "Le Grand Bouffe": "A group of men hire some prostitutes and go to a villa in the countryside. There, they engage in group sex and resolve to eat themselves to death." It's got Marcello Mastroianni and Ugo Tognazzi (having some fun here <--- NOTE: R-rated pic).

I remember liking "A Chef in Love," though it's been years since I've seen it.

Not a food film per se, but I liked a lot of the food scenes in "Joy Luck Club"

i would not recommend le grand bouffe, which i have not seen since it was first released, but recall being a depressing account of perverse gluttony that will put a viewer down in the dumps. it comes from the same place as a vengeful vincent price feeding robert morley his pet poodle or bette davis as baby jane cooking blanche's parakeet after she lied to her sister that it flew out the window. (my memory might be slightly out of whack on these, so many incredible crimes have been committed in the movies over the years.)

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Not a food movie, but one of my favorite food-related exchanges in a movie:

Vincent: Want a sausage?

Jules: Naw, I don't eat pork.

Vincent: Are you Jewish?

Jules: I ain't Jewish, man, I just don't dig on swine.

Vincent: Why not?

Jules; They're filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.

Vincent: Sausages taste good. Pork chops taste good.

Jules: A sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie. I'll never know 'cause even if it did, I wouldn't eat the filthy mo**erf**ker.

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As I have previously noted, all movies are about food to one extent or another, just as life is. For example, some people think The Godfather is about violence. Hardly! Consider the following key quotation from the film:

"Leave the gun. Take the canolli."

Do I make my point?

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I never thought John Travolta was a particularly good actor, but his delivery of "sausages taste good, pork chops taste good" is classic. And don't forget...

VINCENT: Also, you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

JULES: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?

VINCENT: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.

JULES: What'd they call it?

VINCENT: Royale with Cheese.

JULES: Royale with Cheese. What'd they call a Big Mac?

VINCENT: Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.

JULES: What do they call a Whopper?

VINCENT: I dunno, I didn't go into a Burger King. But you know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?

JULES: What?

VINCENT: Mayonnaise.

JULES: Goddamn!

VINCENT: I seen 'em do it. And I don't mean a little bit on the side of the plate, they fuckin' drown 'em in it.

JULES: Uuccch!

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Big Night is fantastic for a chef, I mean a fictional chef who won't forsake his vision, I love it. The "hot dog" exchange is particularly enjoyable.

My wife yells at me every time I watch Mostly Martha when it comes on.

When at Equinox the kitchen staff had a soft spot for Dinner Rush with Danny Aiello. Food, sex, murder and gambling (my favorite things, excepting the murder part).(the chives incident was a favorite)

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It's not really a food movie, but 'Oldboy,' from Korea, involves a torrid relationship between an unconventional ex-con and a sushi chef. It won't spoil much to tell you there is great scene where the former prisoner eats a live octopus -- it will make you doubt how hardcore your sushi cred really is. Fried dumplings also figure into the plot.

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I have not seen it in years, but I remember "Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe" being very funny. If I remember correctly, the chefs were all killed with either food, or cooking implements. And with a sound track like this how can it be a bad food film?

Well Done Louis

Pesce!

Bombe Richelieu

Italian Soup

They Hang Chefs, Don't They?

Bombes Away/Natasha In Venice

The Moveable Feast

Late Night Call/The Gathering

Fiery Finale

The Final Feast/The Confession

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I feel it safe to say that one film that won't be on this list if the forthcoming 'Waiting' starring Ryan Reynolds (last notable film: Van Wilder or Blade Trinity, depending on who you ask).

The film's "synopsis" says it all (without saying anything about the plot, assuming there is one):

"Featuring crazy busboys, unsanitary kitchen antics, and lots of talk about sex, WAITING... is a hysterical, behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant industry, and an affectionate ode to those lost, and thoroughly unproductive, days of youth."

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I feel it safe to say that one film that won't be on this list if the forthcoming 'Waiting' starring Ryan Reynolds (last notable film: Van Wilder or Blade Trinity, depending on who you ask). 

The film's "synopsis" says it all (without saying anything about the plot, assuming there is one):

"Featuring crazy busboys, unsanitary kitchen antics, and lots of talk about sex, WAITING... is a hysterical, behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant industry, and an affectionate ode to those lost, and thoroughly unproductive, days of youth."

I'm actually looking forward to this one to see if it;s got some authenticity, but that's not likely considering your average movie goer would be baffled by all the restaurant lingo and obscure references. I'm expecting it to be way overblown, but I know that when I was working on the floor there were some days that would have provided the plot for a damn funny movie.

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I'm actually looking forward to this one to see if it;s got some authenticity, but that's not likely considering your average movie goer would be baffled by all the restaurant lingo and obscure references.  I'm expecting it to be way overblown, but I know that when I was working on the floor there were some days that would have provided the plot for a damn funny movie.

I guess I was hoping it would be set in a restaurant that actually believed in its cuisine, like the new TV show 'Kitchen Confidential' based on Bourdain's book (which still isn't all that funny or entertaining). This movie is set in the "generic chain restaurant"' Shennanigans, a non-copyrighted imitation of Bennigans.

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I'm being self serving - I run TasteDC.com TasteDC.com Events and we're showing Big Night this Friday night at the Headquarters with this menu inclusive:
1)Antipasto,
2)Minestrone with Sautéed Croutons and Parmigiano-Reggiano,
3)Timballini (Timpano) Di Maccheroni Alla Nonnina (Grandmother's Macaroni Timbales)
- Prepared by Chef Vincenzo Bellito, Pesto's Ristorante, Washington, D.C.,
4)Tiramisu,
5)Various Wines will be served

Other movies that are food-related that I have recently seen (thank you Netflix!):
-Simply Irresistible - OK, OK, it's a sappy love story, but food is the main element!
-The Chinese Feast - I couldn't watch it, total slapstick and silly story line, I was happy to return this after watching it for 15 minutes,
-Felicia's Journey - OK, it's a murder mystery, but the main character's serious focus on food (Bob Hoskins) keeps this in the "foodie" genre,
-Woman on Top - Penelope Cruz is eye candy, but her acting in this move is very good, and it's TOTALLY a food movie - just because it's intertwined with passion and desire - hey, isn't that what makes us foodies???
-My Dinner with Andre - not totally a food movie, but it all occurs in a fine dining establishment about 30 years ago, and it gives you an idea of what it was like to be served in top restaurants back then...food isn't the focus, but if you delve deeper, you'll notice the servers and their mannerisms,
-The Last Supper - not a food movie, but...oh just watch it, it's funny!
And I saw all the other movies mentioned except for SuperSize Me - yes, I saw Le Grande Bouffe and it's about a group of men trying to commit suicide by eating themselves to death - anybody for a taco?

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I read recently that Catherine Zeta-Jones is going to be making an English-speaking version of Mostly Martha due out sometime in 2007.

Yeah. That made me sad, because I like the original film (OK, and Martina Gedeck) so much. But then I thought: "Hey, they could have cast Tara Reid!"

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People who enjoyed "Eat Drink Man Woman" ought to check out this page -- recipes from the movie.

Have you ever done a movie themed dinner? Brother-in-law has a regularly scheduled movie night. Most recently he invited friends to watch Babette's Feast. I chided him about serving pot roast. Suggested he could do a "poor man's" version of Babette's Feast:

Broth or consommé - Potage a la Tortue (Turtle Soup)
Blini with asparagus - Blini Demidoff au Caviar (Buckwheat cakes with caviar)
Chicken thighs in puff pastry - Caille en Sarcophage (Quail in Puff Pastry Shell)
Salad
Cheese selection
Honey Fig cake - Baba au Rhum avec les Figues (Rum Infused Cake with Dried Figs)

What has been your "dinner and a movie" experience? I've thought about doing a Soul Food inspired dinner. (And, going a step further, making it a regular monthly affair.) Do the movies listed above incorporate a blow-out menu or do they spotlight the fun and games that happen in the kitchen? Other suggestions for recipes that will compliment a movie?

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