Tasty Pics for Food Flix

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Vikram Bath
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    says:

    Does Alive qualify as a food movie?Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq
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    says:

    Movies about chefs seem to be like movies about other artists but safer for the producers. The big problem about making movies about fictional artists is that your going to have to demonstrate some of the artist’s work to the audience. Creating something that could pass as a masterpiece, especially a musical composition, is difficult work and the person responsible often fails in such a spectacular manner that even lay people can recognize how bad or trite the fictional masterpiece is. The titular opus in Mr. Holland’s Opus comes to mind. Movie audiences can not taste the meals created by a fictional chef so the creative staff only needs to make sure that the meals look good and appropriately impressive kitchen and food lingo is used.

    We also need to define what constitutes a food movie. I’d argue that simply being a movie about a chef or heavily featuring food in some way is not enough to make a movie a food movie. Tampopo, a truly wonderful film, is a true food movie because people’s relationship to food, in particular ramen, takes center stage more than any other relationship in the movie. Learning how to become a master ramen chef is so important for the main female character that it over shadows the budding romantic relationship with the trucker. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman might feature a chef as the main character and food might feature a prominent place in the movie but the various familial and romantic relationships are much more prominent than the relationship to food. For something to be a true food movie, food and human’s relationship to it must be paramont.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq
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      says:

      Creating something that could pass as a masterpiece, especially a musical composition, is difficult work and the person responsible often fails in such a spectacular manner that even lay people can recognize how bad or trite the fictional masterpiece is.

      I propose calling this the Aaron Sorkin Problem. And this phenomenon perfectly explains why The West Wing could be such a hugely popular show (the show didn’t have to deal with any of the actual outcomes of Josiah Bartlett’s policies, only assert their superiority) while Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip struggled (people could see for themselves that the sketches were garbage).Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to LeeEsq
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      says:

      That is an interesting observation. Mr. Holland’s Opus does seem like a good candidate, though I wasn’t aware enough to identify that as a problem when I first saw it.

      Of course it actually does work if you are making a movie like Immortal Beloved, which is very loosely based on Beethoven. There, they got to pull out the 9th symphony at the end.Report

  3. Avatar zic
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    says:

    If only you knew what goes on in filming food. . . the heat from lights, etc., is not kind to food, and it doesn’t make the food glow and shine the way we think delicious food should. What does that mean? According to my sweetie’s aunt, a home-economist who made a career of preparing ‘food’ that’s film and photography worthy, stuff like using watered-down elmers glue instead of milk (think that bowl of cheerios on the box cover is in milk?), and often, spraying the stuff with high-gloss acrylic spray, etc.

    So while one might salivate over the beautiful food in these movies; I’d suggest care in actually eating most of it.Report

  4. Avatar joe
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    says:

    I guess that none of you have seen the Chinese movie “Dumplings”

    Also, “Chef” and “The Hundred Foot Journey”Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I would love to eat the Sunday Dinner in Eat, Drink and the Louis Prima dinner in Big Night.

    As an honorary mention, I will add Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Still Walking which involves a lot of food and cooking but is not necessarily a food movie.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      @saul-degraw Similarly, The Trip.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly
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        says:

        I have yet to see the Trip.Report

      • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Tod Kelly
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        says:

        The Trip is fantastic, especially if you liked Winterbottom’s other films with Coogan such as Tristram Shandy. It’s definitely set up like a food movie – furious shots of the kitchen, close-ups on plating, etc. – but it’s really about the way a good meal can create an atmosphere for people to bond. The leads could be chowing down on the Generic Sliced Peaches from Repo Man and the movie wouldn’t be any different. The wife and have been working through the sequel (The Trip To Italy), but the realness of it is almost too much. Somehow the prospect of sitting down to dinner with two hilarious but extremely depressing friends is no longer appealing after a long day of work.

        BTW, does Do The Right Thing count as a food movie?Report

  6. Avatar Patrick
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    says:

    Shout out to Vikram for winning the thread with the first comment.Report

  7. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    There was a movie where Amy Adams was a cooking blogger. It had Amy Adams in it. Some stuff happened. It had Amy Adams in it.Report

  8. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    I haven’t seen many food movies or paid attention to them as a distinct category. But a few that I enjoyed occur to me when I think about it:

    Chef (which I thought was the best food movie I ever saw when I saw it, but again, I never gave the category much thought); Ratatouille; Chocolat; Como Agua Para Chocolate.Report

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