food films


Cho­co­lat ( 2000)

Cho­co­lat is the pretty girl in school that girls like me used to hate. She’s sim­ple, easy to un­der­stand, and so full of nice­ness it scares you some­times. Where is the grit, the crazi­ness? Why is she happy all the time? And then you re­al­ize that maybe you’re just a weirdo and that you don’t al­ways have to be so com­pli­cated. It’s light and ef­fort­less, and a de­light­ful break from the heavy-plot­ted, de­press­ing movies in my hard drive.

Post-screen­ing crav­ing: Spicy choco­late-cayenne truf­fle brown­ies. You make them by sift­ing cayenne pow­der with the flour. (Ra­tio: One tea­spoon cayenne per 1.25 cups of flour)

Del­i­catessen ( 1991)

This movie re­minded me of that time when I was ut­terly clue­less on pick­ing the right steak cut to cook and I was as dead as the meat I stared at. Fast for­ward to post­din­ner con­ver­sa­tions, my mother said she liked the herbed burger steak I served her. (Ob­vi­ously, I didn’t go with the steak.) Then again she also said she liked my draw­ings back when they looked like a chicken took the pen­cil from me. Nev­er­the­less, I learned that a good meal can only come from good meat. Hope­fully though, your lo­cal butcher doesn’t have omi­nous quo­ta­tion marks on his menu, like “Baby back ribs.” Post-screen­ing crav­ing: Black an­gus burger from Char­lie’s Grind & Grill at Ronac Art Cen­ter in Green­hills

Jiro Dreams of Sushi ( 2011)

A doc­u­men­tary lm about an oc­to­ge­nar­ian sushi mas­ter, rec­om­mended to me by con­sum­mate Ja­panophile Tri­cia Gos­ing­tian. Watch this and you’ll vow never to suc­cumb to in­fe­rior sushi ever again. Jiro’s sushi joint can sit only ten peo­ple, and you have to make a reser­va­tion months in ad­vance. The sushi course at Jiro’s is also stag­ger­ingly ex­pen­sive, we are told. Apart from the food, Jiro Ono the man is the star. You’ll marvel at his work ethic and skill. Post-screen­ing crav­ing: Chi­rashi at Yumi in Cen­tury City Mall. To me it’s like sushi meets the bento. Or sushi for hun­gry folk.

Tampopo ( 1985)

Con­fes­sion: I’ve only eaten ra­men once so far. (Not by choice, how­ever. I just pre­fer to eat at katsu places more than ra­men places.) It was rain­ing, I was sick, and my girl­friend de­cided it would be a good idea to con­va­lesce through the power of warm, warm ra­men. It was our way of get­ting some chicken noo­dle soup treat­ment with­out hav­ing to bust open cheap packs of Lucky Me!, and, well, it worked. The only ra­men I want to eat now (if I want to eat it) is beef ra­men, and all this ra­men talk in this movie kinda gets me go­ing.

Post-screen­ing crav­ing: Beef ra­men at Shin­juku in Makati’s Lit­tle Tokyo

Ba­bette’s Feast ( 1987)

This lm makes you think about the way you con­sume two things: food and reli­gion. Its story—pos­i­tive at the core, though a bit melan­cholic— por­trays that love, like food, should be re­garded not just as flesh­ful and sen­sual, but also spir­i­tual and di­vine. I highly rec­om­mend it, es­pe­cially to those who dis­agree with par­ents or rel­a­tives about Chris­tian fru­gal­ity. Fun fact: It’s the Pope’s fa­vorite movie.

Post-screen­ing crav­ing: Cham­pagne! Veuve Clicquot, I wish.

Eat Drink Man Woman ( 1994)

From the direc­tor of Crouch­ing Tiger, Hid­den Dragon and Broke­back Moun­tain, though it’s noth­ing like those. The lm is rid­den with quiet hu­mor, awk­ward ten­sion, and so much food. A mas­ter chef dad cooks a weekly feast for his three daugh­ters, all of whom have a fair share of is­sues. It’s like a voyeuris­tic view into a closed-door con­fer­ence room, an un­com­fort­able stage on which to judge this dys­func­tional fam­ily. You won’t feel too bad for them, though, be­cause they’re al­ways eat­ing great food. Post-screen­ing crav­ing: The dumplings at King Chef in Lucky Chi­na­town Mall in Bi­nondo. They’re sold at half the price from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m daily.

I am Love ( 2009)

I’ve never seen any­one re­act so pas­sion­ately to food as Til­daa Swin­ton, af­ter be­ing served thatat shrimp dish in this movie. She lit­er­ally had a foodgasm even be­fore it was a hash­tag. Two hours lat­erer and dozens of dishes with namesmes I’ll never be able to pro­nounce, Italy still re­minds me of pasta. The rst pesto I had was at a fam­ily friend’s home. I was cu­ri­ous about the green stuff in the mid­dle of the ta­ble. I broke ev­ery rule in the Filipino Guest Hand­book by ask­ing for more help­ings. Post-screen­ing crav­ing: Spaghetti from Pan­cake House. Or­dered with ex­tra ba­con strips on the side.

The Hun­dred-foot Jour­ney ( 2014)

The one thing I’ve learned about food in the past year is that I ac­tu­ally re­ally love the cui­sine from the gen­eral area of In­dia, the Mediter­ranean, and the Mid­dle East. One of those things isn’t quite like the oth­ers, but I love them all the same—and to my palate, they come from some vague, un­seen fam­ily tree of cui­sine. (Per­haps a food his­to­rian could help me on this.) All the in­dian food in this movie made me crave for some chicken tikka masala, be­cause on the real, I haven’t con­sumed any turmeric lately. That needs to change soon.

Post-screen­ing crav­ing: The chicken tikka masala over at New Bom­bay is pretty great.

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