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Food Movies: The Topic

Peter the eater

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  • 2 weeks later...

I nominate Kubrick's 2001 : A Space Odyssey. After seeing it a few times, I noticed that every scene has food in it. From the opening scene with apes killing game to the spaceport, the lunar bound ship, the shuttles at moon base, the Jupiter ship, and the last scenes with the old man and the tea tray -- every where there is food. It's as if Kubrick wanted to scale down the awesome events of human evolution by saying, hey, everybody has to eat, somehow. It's rarely the focus of a scene, it just something a person does while doing something else. I thought it quite clever.

Of course if you're watching the movie, well, shall we say, under the influence, then the food fixation is even more salient.

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"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"...hey, I like chocolate.


“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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I love this thread and thought I had seen every food movie on the planet until now ...I have a whole new list of must see's thanks!!!

I have seen and loved the list of top ten at the beginning of this thread ...I totally agree they are my top ten as well!

The Milagro Beanfield War

is quite good and I did not see it mentioned ...

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?


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  • 2 weeks later...

I do love Goodfellas, Big Night and I Like Killing Flies so if the previous recommendations left you undecided... I also liked one scene in Mostly Martha. A patron doesn't like something. Martha comes out to see what's wrong and apparently the fault lies with the diner. She tells him(her?) that the food is prepared "comme il faut".

How about the shorts from the Southern Foodways Alliance? Has anyone seen those?

Also, Our Daily Bread is excellent. It's simply a view of industrial agribusiness. No dialogue - just stunning images.

Edited by stuart_s (log)
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I really liked the movie "Alive"

"How to serve man" - you are one sick puppy.

Like the cannibal, to his son who is pointing at an airplane - "well son, they are a little like lobster, the outside casing is tough, but what's inside is delicious."

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Okay, along the lines of some of the later titles mentioned in this thread, I offer "Blood Feast" (1963) about Egyptian caterer Fuad Ramses, who harvests (?) um, 'specialty meats' for his Egyptian feasts.

The film is a groundbreaker in cinematic history, and I was surprised that it was available on DVD - I bought it about a year ago after seeing it on cable many years ago.

(I've also seen Motel Hell; it was amusing, but not a keeper.)

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Oooh! Good stuff!

"Big Night", "Tampopo", "Babette's Feast", "The Dinner Game", "Delicatessen", etc. (sorry if I missed a few!!) all get two big-toes up from me.

Since cannibalism has come up, nobody's mentioned "Parents" yet... hehehe. -J.

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Babette's Feast to be sure, especially when they suck the heads of the poor little quail! Don't forget, on this day of the Academy Awards, that food was an integral part of one of Oscar's top pictures-The Godfather, Part One. Clemenza showing Mikey how to make spaghetti sauce, Clemenza carrying the cannoli out of the car, Veal chops in the restaurant, The Godfather stuffing his cheeks with tomatoes, many more memorable scenes of food, some followed by violence.

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Well, I would love to mention these two movies I watched a long time ago, but I just can't remember their names! Maybe someone can help me remember:

The first one I saw was about a young chef-to-be going over to France for an internship. He works under this great old chef and the staff hates him because he's american. The chef and the intern become pretty close and the chef ends up going mad (alzheimers or something). There are so many great scenes and quotes in that movie. One that sticks out to me is when the chef teaches the intern how to make a proper cup of coffee. Reminded me of my childhood a little, lol.

The other one was in French with subtitles. It took place during one of the wars a long time ago. The chef had a restaurant and was doing well, but ended up having to live upstairs from his restaurant and serve the enemy, which he hated, all along depressed about losing everything (including his family) and soon to lose his restaurant as well because of the war.

I can't, for the life of me, remember the titles of either one of them, but they sure made an impression on me. Anyone know which ones I am talking about?

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  • 2 weeks later...

why do people like that movie "Chocolat"? I thought it was horrible

-Big Night, for the love of food.

-Antonia's Line has a wonderful bit about the artichoke, and a lot of food/farm/life fodder

-the Sopranos almost alwways makes me want pasta and red sauce, or steak.

-I agree with whomever said Moonstruck. Nicholas cage at the bread oven, Olympia Dukakis at the kitchen making eggs with red peppers in toast, and her slyly sipping her soup..the dessert tray at the restaurant and the sugar cubes in the champagne..all wonderful. even the coffee.

what a great flick.

-tampopo for sure. remember the lady squishing all the bread items in the grocery store?

-what about "I love you to death"? not very respectful of food, but fun, nonetheless

-mostly martha

-gazpacho in Almodovar's "women on the verge"

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In 1982 there was a flick with Scott Glenn (star of such excellent films as "More American Graffitti", "Khan!", and "Wild Geese II") called The Challenge (aka Equals aka Sword of the Ninja). This has a fantastic food scene early on where Scott is served a Japanese meal with all the great delicacies such as tadpoles, served live in a cup with a lid that he had to slip off just right so they wouldn't escape......

25 years on and I still remember that scene.

But, all time favourite would be a tie between Babette's Feast and Tom Jones. There's nothing like a period piece to set off good food.

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That scene from "The Challenge" sounds intense - I will hunt it down. We don't eat a lot of amphibians here in eastern Canada . . . it does give me an idea for a grassroots food festival or something.

I started this thread like a year ago and am thrilled to get more and more movie suggestions.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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A few more when that I don't think have been mentioned: Pieces of April is a pretty mediocre Katie Holmes movie where she plays the black sheep of a family who are traveling from Pennsylvania and hit all kinds of stumbling blocks on the first Thanksgiving she's cooking. She finds out her oven doesn't work and she has to take these dishes to all the different apartments in her building. One guy takes her turkey hostage, and she ends up inviting the Chinese family upstairs to dinner after spending an hour trying to explain what the holiday means.

I was so nervous to make a souffle when I was younger because of the original movie version of Sabrina. The mean French chef really intimidated me. Plus, the sitting on champagne flutes scene is always funny.

I like the scene in Little Miss Sunshine in the diner when the grandpa stands up to the dad about the pancakes ala mode. I think it's very telling.

I saw this page on IMdB for a new indie movie called Tortilla Heaven that looks pretty cute. It has the woman who played Marilyn in Northern Exposure, and my favorite episode of that show whas when the doctor tried to cook a big New York dinner for the town residents and refused to clarify the butter.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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On the Asian side....

I just rewatched the Korean flick, The Art of Fighting.

Besides the expected fighting, there are a huge number of wonderful bits of the old fighter and his mentee sitting around grills with bottles of soju, beer, chopsticks, and things grilling.

There's a beautifully shot scene of a clam just poppoing open.......of course, it costs someone an eye.......

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  • 2 weeks later...

Damn, I've got a lot of movies to see!

My faves:

- Sideways: hilarious

- Supersize Me

- Waiting: Well, not really a fave, but it so accurately captured working in a dead-end restaurant job that I felt like I was back working in one and depression set in!

- Cocktail: Not a very good movie, but I always enjoy it.

- Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder)

Haven't seen Big Night yet. I just requested it from my library. I first heard about it in A Cook's Tour where Bourdain meets Tony Schaloub.

Great restaurant/food scenes in movies:

- Goodfellas: where they're meticulously preparing an Italian feast in prison.

- Hannibal: Brains anyone? One of the most disturbing scenes I've ever seen -- hell Silence of the Lambs is kind of about food too as a lot of people now associate fava beans and (a nice) chianti with it.

- Better Off Dead: Boiled bacon? It's got raisins in it... you like raisins.

- Caddyshack: DOG FOOD?!?

- A Fish Called Wanda: Don't eat the green ones -- they're not ripe yet!

I didn't like Chocolat -- found it slow and boring. I didn't care for Delicatessen either -- too weird.

Since my favorite food films have already been mentioned, I offer an obscure one: Motel Hell (1980), a horror film starring Rory Calhoun as a sausage-making tycoon a la Jimmy Dean.

Oh man...I think I remember seeing that one!

Clerks 2 is kind of a food movie...

Nobody's mentioned Fast Food Nation. I started watching it, got bored and scanned through the rest. Didn't look that interesting.

And on TV, I really enjoyed Kitchen Confidential.

Edited by johnsmith45678 (log)
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  • 2 months later...
Mostly Martha is the most touching movie about a chef that I have seen. The main character is written so well.

Guilty pleasure: Dinner Rush.

I loved Dinner Rush. Has anyone see Tampopo? it is a Japanese comedy and it is one of the very few films I own.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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  • 2 weeks later...

The other night I saw a movie on TV called, I think, "Love is all there is". It's a farce, lots of slapstick, about two warring Italian catering families. One has a son and one has a daughter, so there is a Romeo and Juliet theme going on also. The "almost royalty" snooty family is new to the area and tries to steal the Sicilian family's tacky wedding monopoly. Lanie Kazan is a scream.

In my NetFlix queue is a new food movie, "Simply Irresistable" that I'll be seeing soon.

But Babette's my favorite: all those little old teetotallers bravely drinking the wine, and Babette spending her fortune to be able to cook one perfect dinner.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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