There's nothing like a movie that can make your mouth water. It's fun to savor movies involving food and cooking, luxuriating in the morsels created, finding inspiration -- but never paying the price of too many calories.
Shari Zeck, Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University and GLT's Culture Maven is a fan of a well-prepared food film -- and one in particular you may consider screening this Thanksgiving: the 1987 Danish drama, Babette's Feast. This Oscar-winning gem features small moments between characters that unfold into something with great depth. "About 75% of the film is just people sitting at a table having a meal" said Zeck. "The premise is that Babette comes to this small, isolated small town to be a cook for a pair of elderly women who have lived a restricted, pious, very private life. We gets some hints that Babette is an outcast of some sort from where she was before."
After an extraordinary event, Babette decides to make a meal -- a very elaborate meal -- for the sisters and their friends. "They come to realize how extraordinary this meal is through their senses, and their sensual exploration of tastes and textures makes these austere women suddenly have little smiles on their faces. It's about being seduced by this food. It really is in the end about awakening the human spirit and making connections between people."
"Cooking is Babette's art. She must express her art, even if it exhausts her."