Food in film

No film sub genre has been more successful than the food movie. Generally established as a romance around gourmet cuisine, the food movie became a success around the late 1980’s with hits such as Babette’s Feast and Tampopo.  Lately we have seen award winning movies such as Chocolat and the One Hundred Foot Journey.

These films are designed to make the spectator wish they were eating what they are limited to looking at. Most films leave you wanting to walk straight from the theatre to the nearest eatery. The food movie offers delectable temptations without the guilt of overeating. Even when the film uses spectacular looking dishes that can embrace a whole community as in Chocolat, the spectator is left with no scrumptious reward.

The double function of movies such as the three reviewed on Culinary Cinema, is apparent in the variant of the myth, giving us the thrill of watching the protagonist climb the ladder to success as well as the sense of morality we feel towards the main character. In the first part we see the cautionary tale, which highlights the hardship in achieving their goal; the second part contains the hallmarks of what success can bring. Like in movies such as The One Hundred Foot Journey, the storyline tends to end in the accomplishment of desire: the achievement of the goal or dream, a promotion or vindication of his industry. The allure of these movies symbolise and reflect on our own ambitions and fantasies to succeed, fulfilled by the character, whilst our emotions follow the journey. Alexis de Tocqueville, a French Political thinker, referred to this as ‘the charm of anticipated success’.

A substantial number of movies centre on legendary actors. This is symbolic of our dual satisfaction in feasting on the celebrity world, as well as watching their characters rise to fame. This satisfies our desire to have faith in the myth that hard work and compromise will yield success, and in turn, happiness, regardless of culture, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

Food films such as the One Hundred Foot Journey and Chef take a closer look at underlying themes, cultural dissimilarity and sub-textual meanings.

No film sub genre has been more successful than the food movie. Generally established as a romance around gourmet cuisine, the food movie became a success around the late 1980’s with hits such as Babette’s Feast and Tampopo.  Lately we have seen award winning movies such as Chocolat and the One Hundred Foot Journey.

These films are designed to make the spectator wish they were eating what they are limited to looking at. Most films leave you wanting to walk straight from the theatre to the nearest eatery. The food movie offers delectable temptations without the guilt of overeating. Even when the film uses spectacular looking dishes that can embrace a whole community as in Chocolat, the spectator is left with no scrumptious reward.

The double function of movies such as the three reviewed on Culinary Cinema, is apparent in the variant of the myth, giving us the thrill of watching the protagonist climb the ladder to success as well as the sense of morality we feel towards the main character. In the first part we see the cautionary tale, which highlights the hardship in achieving their goal; the second part contains the hallmarks of what success can bring. Like in movies such as The One Hundred Foot Journey, the storyline tends to end in the accomplishment of desire: the achievement of the goal or dream, a promotion or vindication of his industry. The allure of these movies symbolise and reflect on our own ambitions and fantasies to succeed, fulfilled by the character, whilst our emotions follow the journey. Alexis de Tocqueville, a French Political thinker, referred to this as ‘the charm of anticipated success’.

A substantial number of movies centre on legendary actors. This is symbolic of our dual satisfaction in feasting on the celebrity world, as well as watching their characters rise to fame.

This satisfies our desire to have faith in the myth that hard work and compromise will yield success, and in turn, happiness, regardless of culture, gender, religion or sexual orientation.