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Movies and food


Kikujiro
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201, you're correct: the restaurant part is separate from the theater part.  What I wonder is if they vet the movies beforehand, to determine that they won't, um, upset anyone's digestion.

Well, a quick look at some upcoming programming at The Screening Room turns out to be a little too much on topic!

Actually, I've never seen the film or read the novel so I'm not sure how much breakfast is actually incorporated. :laugh:

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Ah, Don't Look Now. I don't remember anything non-food related about this favorite movie of mine. Not the acrobatic sex (to the virginal teenager this just looked, well, too sporty), the premonition of death as the vaporetto sped down the canal--I still dream about that bit, but, woosh, no impression whatsoever), Sutherland nearly falling to death from the scaffolding, the creepy blind woman, zilch effect. The sticky, furry theatre seats, no recall. It was that choc-ice from the usherette that was the true revelation.

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As a kid, I used to favor non-pareilles while watching the strippers at the Empire Burlesque in Newark. As I got more sophisticated, I switched to chocolate trufffles with liquid centers. I liked bursting them with my molars at just the right moment in the perfomance. Erthereal experience.

....(That was the name of my favorite bump and grinder).

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Waitresses showing up with refills throughout a superbly beautiful film such as Maboroshi no hikari would fill me with sadness even as they filled my glass with Sprite.  

Of course, Yumiko, the main character in Maboroshi no hikari, is no stranger to sadness herself.  In fact, the film is an exploration of her struggles with grief and healing.  Surprisingly, director Hirokazu Kore-eda conveys the mood of this film more with beautiful cinematography than with, say, actors eating rice.  I found it odd, because I've often heard that rice is a key way to avoid depression following the loss of a loved one.  I guess that's because eating rice makes one feel like one is on vacation?

Kore-eda's next film after Maborosi, After Life, was probably my favourite release of that year. I think it benefits from being seen as unencumbered by expectations as possible, so I won't describe it, but it actually merits such overused descriptors as sublimely beautiful and unbearably moving. Oddly enough, although I am constantly recommending films to people, this is one on which several friends on both sides of the Atlantic actually followed up. Not one of them was less than overwhelmed. Rent the DVD or, even better, watch out for it in rep if you live in a big city. A masterpiece.

Oh yeah, at one point in the film somebody mentions pancakes.

Edited by Kikujiro (log)
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Reportedly, there was once something called Smellovision, where various smells were released in the theater to coordinate with the film.  More recently, I've heard of scratch and sniff cards being handed out.  But what if you could be eating what the characters on the screen were having simultaneously?  Are some appetites best left unsatisfied (until the film is over)?

I remember John Waters' Polyester had a Smellovision aspect to it with the scratch and sniff cards. I particularly remember the oregano and smelly feet parts. If you buy a DVD or VHS of Polyester, does it include a Smellovision card?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Kore-eda's next film after Maborosi, After Life, was probably my favourite release of that year...

After Life is indeed another beautiful film, but after a completely different fashion. It's a wonderful discussion starter as well... makes me wonder how many eGulleteers would have incorporated food into their memories. There's a Chinese restaurant located next to the Blockbuster where I rented After Life. It's called Oriental Restaurant and I refuse to eat in an establishment that so clearly doesn't put any effort into their restaurant.

I'm very interested in seeing Kore-eda's Distance as well, but I missed probably the only screening in New York. If it does play again in New York, I will see it and then eat at Kastuhana. Otherwise, I will hope for a DVD release and some wasabi peas.

Speaking of DVDs (and finger food)... is the UK DVD version of Maboroshi no hikari better than the US version? The US version released by New Yorker Video isn't a very good print and the subtitles are burned-in. I'm reminded of that everytime I eat well-done French fries.

edit: mistakenly used an apostrophe in order to create the plural of DVD

Edited by 201 (log)
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Sutherland nearly falling to death from the scaffolding

The stunt man who made the fall for Sutherland lived next to me briefly. Nice chap.

Did he do those stunts on a full or empty stomach? If the former, what did he eat?

Can't tell you, but he was very lean.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Speaking of DVDs (and finger food)... is the UK DVD version of Maboroshi no hikari better than the US version?  The US version released by New Yorker Video isn't a very good print and the subtitles are burned-in.  I'm reminded of that everytime I eat well-done French fries.

Last time I looked it was only on VHS over here :shock:

Oddly enough, my local video rental store is also next to a Chinese restaurant that I have never been inside.

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I just got home from seeing Devils on the Doorstep. It's a very interesting film dealing with the Japanese occupation of China at the end of World War II. Alternately funny and tragic, it tells the story of a small group of Chinese villagers who quite unwillingly become the captors of a Japanese soldier and his translator. It's been a while since I felt quite so invested in a film's characters.

Evidently the Chinese government tried to ban the film and prevent it from being shown, but despite that it still was entered and well-received at Cannes. The US version was edited down by 20 minutes, but I'm not sure exactly what was cut. I suspect it might have had something to do with the way in which Americans were portrayed in the film, but that's really just a guess out of left field.

Definitely keep your eye out for this film and its multiple food scenes:

- Dumplings are shown being made from scratch

- Grain is featured prominently as an important plot element

- A freshly killed chicken is shown being cooked

- Candy is mentioned on more than one occassion

- And much more

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After a fabulous dinner at Babbo the other night, I headed over to the Film Forum and viewed Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. This was actually one of three choices that I had lined up to coincide with whenever dinner would be finished; The other two were Russian Ark and Secretary.

As it turns out though, Rivers and Tides was a perfect film for digestion. A look into the life and work of Scottish nature sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, this film is honest and direct. It made me crave a nice cup of hot tea to sip as I watched the beautiful transient works of art presented with great cinematic skill. Sure, there were some rough cuts and forced staging in the beginning that had me worried about the camera work, but I'd say 95% of the cinematography is terrific. It's the sort of cinematography that calls attention to itself only by its excellence in finding what must be the perfect framing for each shot without distracting you from the subject matter.

And the subject matter is simply breathtaking. To see one man labor for hours on works which will be carried off by wind, sun, or water is awe-inspiring. In a way, I suppose it's similar to cooking in that the only remnants of the original object are the memories and photographs. Andy Goldsworthy himself is a terrific subject as well. He's naturally relaxed in front of the camera and rather charming as well. Sort of the perfect after-dinner conversationalist. Certainly much better than Emeril in my opinion (I can't stand watching Emeril).

Unfortunately there was only one really noteable food scene (and one not much worth noting). Throughout his work, Mr. Goldsworthy has a line motif which is really quite wonderful in its simplicity. However, when pouring syrup on his frittata (just outside of Storm King sculpture park in NY), he didn't seem to apply the syrup in this motif. I was somewhat confused by this omission and the more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps that was not Mr. Goldsworthy's frittata at all! I'll have to watch the film again and see... or perhaps some eGulleteer will see it and pay attention to this critical scene?

In any case, it was a thoroughly enjoyable documentary and I'm hoping it gets a DVD release in the future with a full commentary track to explain the syrup-pouring scene.

edit: typo

Edited by 201 (log)
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Movies tend not to affect me so much, but my girlfriend's anime collection tends to have a strong effect on the both of us. Ranma 1/2 and The Slayers are both instant food-craving-inducers. Both cartoons have a strong element of eating running through them - usually leading us to order takeout japanese after we're done (or midway through during marathon sessions).

"Long live democracy, free speech and the '69 Mets; all improbable, glorious miracles that I have always believed in."

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Last night I dragged myself all the way to South Kensington to catch the limited run of François Ozon's Les Amants criminels at the Cine Lumiere. Makes an interesting contrast with his more recent and high-profile 8 Femmes. Where that was a highly artificial, campy comedy, this was ... well, not. Luc and Alice, sort of lovers, kill a schoolfriend and then drive away to the woods to bury him, where after a Night of the Hunter kind of boat trip they end up being trapped by a man who lives in a hut in the forest, and Luc in particular has a whole new range of experiences ... preferred it to 8 Femmes, and I should point out it contains scenes of rabbit skinning and consumption, as well as the eating of, um, other kinds of meat.

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