Film & TV x Lifestyle: Film’s love affair with food



“Food and the medium of film have a very intertwined relationship”Pexels @ Prince Photos Courtesy of Varsity

Scooters roam through a busy intersection. It fades into a one-story house, then cuts into a large cauldron containing three large fish. Suddenly this serene scene is punctuated by the brazenly calm scene as two hands sink into the frame and into the pond, catching the fish closest to the surface, then quickly sending and catching them in one zigzag motion. Moments later, the fish is cut into strips and dug in flour, then fried in oil and then fried.

“Cooking can be a plot device, a symbol of greed, or a means of control.”

This is how the 1994 movie Ang Lee began eat drink man woman After the first 30 seconds, there is no doubt that food will play a huge role in this movie. As we know, this is a father who prepares Sunday dinner for his three daughters. One of the daughters aspired to be a chef but relented in the face of her father’s disapproval, and another worked in a fast food chain. Food and cooking wrap around the lives of both characters, forming a bond between them while also being a source of conflict and a symbol of competing Taiwanese and Western cultural influences. But above all, this feast, and more broadly the food in this film, are carefully prepared offerings. It’s the tangible manifestations of the care and affection this family feels for each other – even when they can’t say it or even admit it out loud.

“Food is something that every human being interacts with on a certain level every day.”

The cuisine is intertwined with the plot and characters of Lee’s movie, and likewise the food and cinematic milieu have a very intertwined relationship. The cinematic medium has the unique advantage of being able to capture the multisensory nature of food – even the most energetic cooking photos contain only a shot frozen in dynamism, and as stunningly appetizing as shots of completed dishes, it feels drained of all life. The only movie with multimedia and transmission quality that gives us luxurious visions of spitting fat from frying pans and dishes so sparkling you can almost smell it.

Just as film is important in portraying the glory of food, so is food vital to the cinematic enterprise. Even in movies that don’t focus on food or cooking, food can play a big role. Food is something that every human being deals with on a certain level every day, whether it is through creativity, consumption, or even obvious absence. This ubiquitous presence and the polyvalent importance we ascribe to food make its presence in films a powerful narrative and stylistic tool.

“Just like making movies, cooking and food are ways to connect.”

Food can be the meeting of visceral, orderly, and orderly manners; Of high and low culture. It’s also a powerful medium of its own in which so much can be portrayed: culture, relationships, and emotions all the way from fear and anger to passion and joy. Cooking can be a plot device, a symbol of greed, or a method of control. Similarities abound between cooking and filmmaking – the almost rhythmic, dance-like creative process from emerging concept to fully realized project.

Food is also more than a basic food event – like the movie, it’s so much more than putting together its component parts. Editing, acting, directing, cinematography – all work in perfect concert as technique, ingredients, spices and paint. Just like making movies, cooking and food are ways of communicating, they are a lens through which we can live, even for a brief moment, a different human experience than our own. When you look at it like that, you just get the feeling that the food and the movie share such intimacy.

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