If you love cinema and cooking, here is a list of films not to be missed. Maybe comfortably on the sofa, munching something
You don't have to be passionate about cooking to appreciate these films. They are all great films, to be seen regardless of the link with food, because they are also interesting from many other points of view. A part of the following texts were written by some students of the 3 ^ A Cuochi class of a school in Grumello del Monte, in the province of Bergamo, within the "Food and Cinema" project. We just have to wish you good vision, but above all good appetite (since you will be very hungry)!
30. The Chef
Very funny irreverent comedy by Jon Favreau, where the life of a chef changes (positively) after the (negative) review of an important blogger and food and wine critic. This film also shows the power of communication on social media (are we exaggerating?), Everything is in rhythm with good music. Only contraindication: makes an incredible desire for Cuban sandwiches.
29. Make Hummus not War
This documentary by Australian Trevor Graham was released in 2012, focusing on the political aspects that ended up covering the hummus, which has now become the symbol of conflicts in the Middle East. Just think of the various murals present from Bethlehem in Istanbul with the words: "Make hummus not wall". At the first screening, it was presented as follows: "What if the secret to peace in the Middle East is in the hummus?".
28. The Survival Family
Impressive to see The Survival Family of the Japanese director Yaguchi, who in 2017 had prophesied our lockwdown, with various scenes similar to reality, such as the assault on supermarkets or the general blockade. In fact, this film tells the story of a Japanese family who from one day to the next faces a sudden blackout across Tokyo, leaving us with a question: do we know how to survive in an industrialized and technological world that leaves no room for errors?
27. Transhumance Tour
Valerio Gnesini tells the musical tour of three boys in Italy who travel woofing, that is various stages in farms and farms, where in exchange for food and accommodation, they help in the countryside, also organizing small concerts. And during the film it seems to travel with them to the rhythm of the song "Transhumance transhumance transhumance …"; that will never go out of your mind!
26. Ramen Heads
All ramen lovers (and not only) should see this film, by Japanese director Koki Shigeno, released in 2017. The protagonist is Osamu Tomita, who in Japan is considered the king of ramen. It is he, in fact, who with his somewhat obsessive approach explains everything that revolves around this dish, along with most of the tricks and secrets to prepare it perfectly, starting from broth and spaghetti. Along with him, other important ramen chefs are also presented, each with their own philosophy, testifying to how many different aspects go through this wonderful world. In short, the advice is to see this film, which also traces the historical roots, for a truly complete 360 ° look at Japanese ramen culture.
25. Fast Food Nation
A necessary documentary film, which lays bare the reality of fast food in America. Director Richard Linklater conducts an investigation into all the economic and commercial interests behind the American food industry, those that for many reasons should be kept hidden.
Director Ritesh Batra talks about the "dabbawallas" system which every day (inside the lunchboxes) deliver about 200 thousand hot meals cooked at home to workers and employees who work in the offices in the city. These bellboys move by bike, public transport and trains and eventually bring empty containers back to families. This delivery method is a real tradition in India, studied by the largest universities for its precision. On average, in fact, this system counts an error on millions and in the film it is the case of the protagonist, Saajan, who receives the Ila lunchbox …
23. The Villani
Beautiful film by Daniele De Michele, aka Don Pasta, which tells various Italian traditions through the story of 8 characters from 4 different generations. There is a 50-year-old farmer who spends his days bringing cattle to pasture and milking cows; a farmer who keeps his family working hard and therefore finds himself forced to stay away from home; then there is a group of octopus and mussel fishermen; and, again, a lady who always prepares fresh egg pasta. In short, a trip to the most beautiful Italy, a must see.
22. And now where are we going?
In this great film by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki (former author of the wonderful Caramel), food becomes a way to distract men from conflict. We are in a small village where Christians and Arabs apparently coexist in peace. But after a small episode ancient grudges return. So women devise various stratagems to bring peace to the country, taking their men … by the throat! There are also some beautiful music scenes (which according to the director derive from her love for the film Grease), such as when women are gathered in a large table and cook singing, hoping to bring joy and peace back to the country .
21. Our Daily Bread
It seems to live the whole film in first person, perhaps because they are issues that concern us. The intent, in fact, is to unmask what is behind the production of food, that food that comes to us every day on the table, our daily bread (hence the title). And to make this documentary even more impactful, the whole film is silent, people do not speak, only the noises of the conveyor belts and the immense machinery of intensive farming are heard, as if to say: "Words are not needed".
20. The chocolate factory
Few perhaps do not know this film, present both in the original version of Mel Stuart in 1971, and in the last of Tim Burton in 2005 with Johnny Depp. In both cases, these are two masterpieces, also because it could not be otherwise since they are taken from that great book by Roald Dahl, which passes the years but continues to make us dream inside that chocolate factory, young and old.
19. The mid-August lunch
Delicious comedy by Gianni Di Gregorio that revolves around the mid-August lunch, prepared by the protagonist for his mom and his friends. We laugh from start to finish: yet another confirmation that he sits at the table more to feel good than to eat.
18. Twentieth century
A masterpiece of that genius of Bernardo Bertolucci (one of my favorite directors) who leaves us an indelible film on the Emilia countryside of the twentieth century, peasant traditions, family rites. And, as a background, a piece of fundamental history, such as the partisans' struggle against fascism.
17. Super Size Me
Director Morgan Spurlock decides to experiment on himself by eating McDonald's for a month at breakfast, lunch and dinner, to show the deleterious effects of fast food. Already in the second week, doctors are stunned by the changes in his body and weight and warn him to stop immediately so as not to create permanent damage to his health, especially the liver. A useful alarm bell based on real and concrete data that reminds us that in the United States one in four people suffer from obesity, and one obese young person in three can have diabetes, which if developed before the age of 15 can shorten the life of well 17 years.
16. West Bank Story
This short documentary by American director Ari Sandel won the Oscar for best short film in 2006, for treating the Arab-Israeli conflict in an ironic (and music) key. There are two kiosks one attached to the other that make hummus and falafel: one Israeli, Kosher King, and the other Palestinian, Hummus Hut. Following a dispute, it is once again the food that shows how close we are to what we believe, so much so that in the end they both realize they need each other, then finding them so close (watch it on Youtube , it only lasts 20 minutes and it's really worth it!).
15. Soul kitchen
Beautiful film focused on the frenetic, dynamic and passionate life of a young cook, who must manage to keep his own premises, obtained from an old warehouse. And it does so by revolutionizing its way of cooking, starting from very simple dishes, up to cooking increasingly complex dishes. We do not anticipate anything else, except that it is yet another confirmation that the Turkish Faith Akin (also author of The Turkish Bride) is a great director.
14. The farm of our dreams
Recent American documentary that tells the (true) story of Molly and John Chester (who is also the director), who decide to invest everything they have to make their dream come true: to build a farm by cultivating and raising animals in harmony with nature. But nature, however wonderful, can also be unpredictable, demonstrating its strength to man.
13. Midnight dinner Tokyo stories
It is a series on Netflix, various episodes all set in a Tokyo night restaurant, where various characters meet. There is, for example, a radio speaker and a friend of his, who meet each evening after work over a plate of ramen to talk about their daily adventures. And so on, showing us the most intimate part of a big city, a small place where everyone feels at home, just like there are many in Japan.
Another great film by Abdellatif Kechinche (they are all wonderful, he is another of my favorite directors), which revolves around a family who has to open a restaurant on a boat in the port of Sète, the city of Georges Brassens. But as in all the best stories, things do not go smoothly and so, waiting for the cous cous to arrive for various inaugurations, there will be one of the most beautiful scenes in the history of cinema. Couscous is a constant throughout the film, as a moment of sharing par excellence.
Cartoon for young and old that tells the adventures of the mouse Remy and his dream of becoming a great chef. And it succeeds, given that it conquers even the most famous gastronomic critic in Paris, Anton Ego, with the Ratatouille dish, which will then become the name of a small bistro with a floor entirely dedicated to mice.
10. Big Night
Here the life of two restaurateur brothers is told in an ironic and extremely realistic way, in particular the organization of a very important dinner where all the typical unexpected events of the trade will emerge. The breakfast scene in the kitchen is unforgettable!
9. The wind makes its turn
Who better than Giorgio Rights, with this 2007 masterpiece, managed to make the atmosphere of a small mountain town in the Alps. In this beautiful film, which wrote the history of Italian cinema, there is a phrase that says : "Culture comes from living together day after day" in reference to the country where the pastor arrives and upsets because "the real transgression is to change, to do what you really want to do even if the greatest fear is not being adequate to the life".
8. The Founder
One cannot help but see the film that traces the entire history of McDonald, from the birth as a small kiosk of the two brothers of the same name, to the transformation into a chain now widespread all over the world. When you finish it you will understand why!
7. The big binge
It can remember a few days during the quarantine, when obsessed with lack of food we stormed supermarkets. In this film, set in France in the 1970s, the director wants to show that the exaggeration of pleasures, from sex to food, if taken to the extreme, can also cause death.
6. The Ramen girl
The food that consoles. After being left by her boyfriend, Abby finds consolation in a ramen dish in the bistro below the house. From that moment on, he decided to learn how to cook to perfection, so he started working with a Japanese chef, completing his apprenticeship with determination, until his dream came true.
5. The Hoof Tree
A masterpiece, a fundamental film, which should be part of all school programs. This great work by Ermanno Olmi tells in a unique and anthropological way the life of the farmers at the end of the nineteenth century in the lower Bergamo area, giving us an indelible photograph of a lost time, far from any form of technology and perhaps for this better.
One of the most romantic love films there is, with the timeless Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. But beyond love in Chocolat there is more: there is that immense link between food and religion, with all the prohibitions and taboos that every faith brings with it. And in this small French Catholic town we are in the period of Lent and the opening of a chocolate shop is certainly not frowned upon.
3. Zoran, my stupid nephew
Although this film by Matteo Oleotto does not speak properly of food, it does breathe the atmosphere of the Friulian osmize well. These are unique realities, similar to the branches, originally born from farms that opened the front door to feed the products of the harvest in abundance. Today the spirit has not changed: in the branches and osmize it seems to eat at home, only a few months of the year are open and they are real meeting places (and places of worship).
2. Babette's lunch
A true classic, which many perhaps we have seen right at school. Once again the world of food is connected to the religious one, this time in the Protestant environment of a place in Denmark, held by two sisters who will have to welcome a person who comes from a completely different context from theirs.
1. The hole
It has depopulated on Netflix, provoking often divergent criticisms and stimulating various reflections on the main theme: social inequality. The Spanish director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia has chosen to treat these subjects in a crude way, because the reality of the growing differences between rich and poor is raw and urgent. And to make the idea of a closed system, the film is set in a prison that develops in height, a 333-storey skyscraper with 2 inmates on each floor, for a total of 666 people (the devil's number). In this structure in the center there is a hole called "the pit", where every 24 hours a platform descends which starts full of wanted food (the favorite dishes of each prisoner) from floor 0 and which if equally distributed between the various floors should be able to feed even the top floor. It should. But it's not like that at all.
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