Author Topic: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feast (1987)  (Read 10439 times)

MartinTeller

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feat (1987)
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2011, 07:25:22 PM »
I don't have culinary experience but I love Eat Drink Man Woman.


Someone should fix the title of this thread, btw (Feast, not Feat)

Bondo

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feast (1987)
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2011, 08:03:07 PM »
I'm a big fan of Eat Drink Man Woman from when I watched it a good while back. I should probably rewatch it. I am into cooking and food and stuff, though while I'm interested in what she's making, I can't say I was terribly interested in eating most of it if only because it was heavily animal based and I'm an off and on vegetarian.

A couple other food related movies I've liked in part for the food were Supermarket Woman and Still Walking. None of the sushi places around here do sweet corn tempura so I think I need to make it on my own sometime. Even Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers had some interesting stuff (a full garlic bulb baked into a pastry).

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feast (1987)
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2011, 08:40:20 PM »
General Lorens praising the food and being responded to with silence is hilarious. That was my favorite part of the movie; the first 10 minutes or so of the feast.

That section of the movie played like a delightful comedy.
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worm@work

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feast (1987)
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2011, 08:53:53 PM »
First and foremost, am glad this idea is actually getting some traction. Execution details aside, I love the idea of a bunch of filmspotters discussing a film (somewhat) simultaneously.

Am cheating a bit by posting in this thread really. I haven't watched this movie in a few years and am posting from memory. I love this film albeit perhaps not as much as Eat Drink Man Woman or Tampopo possibly because I find Asian food way more appetizing than turtle soup.

I think one of the most interesting things about the film for me was this idea of what life as a devout/religious person is really about. I really enjoyed the exploration of what it really means to be devout. Does it mean sacrifice, discipline and deprivation or does it mean trying to extract as much joy and beauty from life as one possibly can.

I also really love the idea of food as a way to bring people together. I've lived in a bunch of different countries growing up and my mom often invited people over for a meal as a means to get us integrated into a new environment. I love to cook as well and get a lot of joy from feeding people. So I understand where Antares is coming from.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 09:01:24 PM by worm@work »

jim brown

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feat (1987)
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2011, 09:00:18 PM »
Someone should fix the title of this thread, btw (Feast, not Feat)

Because of that typo, I ended up mistakenly renting a fetish video called "Babette's Feet".  A lot of similar themes, but more subtle.
Kevin: Yes, why does there have to be evil?

Supreme Being: I think it has something to do with free will.

-------------------------------------------------------

Verna: I suppose you think you raised hell.

Tom: Sister, when I've raised hell you'll know it.

FroHam X

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feat (1987)
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2011, 10:12:37 PM »
I agree with Corey, but I would take it a bit farther, I don't think this film is simply dividing and comparing the divide between the conservative and liberal outlooks on life (give them whatever other labels you want), but also showing how in these cases, both sides are expressing the same ideas of unity and love, but in different ways.

Maybe it's because I'm an atheist, and thus I have my own opinion on the matter, but I just don't see the film as equivocating the two. This seems clearest in the attitudes of the others in the village; their resentments. Were the sisters caring for the poor out of love or a sense of religious obligation?

I don't think it's because you're an atheist. I think the film clearly comes down on one side of this, which is that all the repressed emotion is not helping them live better lives or come closer to God. I don't really see how Sam finds all these expressions of love in the film during the space between the courting scenes and the feast. The whole point seemed to me that there was a lack of love. These people, including the sisters, had so devoted themselves to sacrifice and simplicity and repressing desire to the point where expressions of love were not found. Expressions of devotion devoid of love or emotion. The food reminds them of that feeling the once had when they were younger, the love the felt for their fellow persons, for those men, for their father, for God. The meal brings it all back to them as only the most transcendent art can.


Babette's Feast

The power of food is fascinating to me. It's an art unlike any other. It defies the standard conventions of analysis because it speaks directly to that which we most need. We cannot live without food, and so it is food that can provide the most basic pleasures. To discover that food can be more than just a means of nutrition, more than just stale bread and ale, is to discover the very beauty in living.

This is the most insightful thing you've ever written.

Hmmmmmm. This sounds strangely backhanded ;D

Seriously though, thanks. It's really how I feel. I can't really cook. I mean, I can if I need to, but food has always just been something I've appreciated. My grandfather was a chef, so that side of the family is well fed, and my dad has always had a knack for cooking. If I was wealthy you can bet I'd be much more a food connoisseur than a cinephile. There is nothing in this world that can make me feel more alive than a well cooked meal with the right amount of love thrown in. (It's the reason that scene of Anton Ego eating the ratatouille gets me so hard every time.)


I think one of the most interesting things about the film for me was this idea of what life as a devout/religious person is really about. I really enjoyed the exploration of what it really means to be devout. Does it mean sacrifice, discipline and deprivation or does it mean trying to extract as much joy and beauty from life as one possibly can.

I've already said what I think the film is going for, but do what answer do you feel the film gave for this question?
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feat (1987)
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2011, 10:53:50 PM »
I agree with Corey, but I would take it a bit farther, I don't think this film is simply dividing and comparing the divide between the conservative and liberal outlooks on life (give them whatever other labels you want), but also showing how in these cases, both sides are expressing the same ideas of unity and love, but in different ways.

Maybe it's because I'm an atheist, and thus I have my own opinion on the matter, but I just don't see the film as equivocating the two. This seems clearest in the attitudes of the others in the village; their resentments. Were the sisters caring for the poor out of love or a sense of religious obligation?

I don't think it's because you're an atheist. I think the film clearly comes down on one side of this, which is that all the repressed emotion is not helping them live better lives or come closer to God. I don't really see how Sam finds all these expressions of love in the film during the space between the courting scenes and the feast. The whole point seemed to me that there was a lack of love. These people, including the sisters, had so devoted themselves to sacrifice and simplicity and repressing desire to the point where expressions of love were not found. Expressions of devotion devoid of love or emotion.
Because I believe servitude to a community is its own expression of love.

FroHam X

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feast (1987)
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2011, 10:57:48 PM »
It's an expression of devotion, but not necessarily born of love. I think the film goes to great lengths to show how lacking in joy and warmth and love in that village. It's gotten so bad that even the members of the flock can't seem to find the will to sing hymns anymore. They just bicker.

Serving the community is a noble thing that can come from love, but I think the movie presents it as having become nothing more than a mixture of routine and obligation.

I don't think the feast would have the impact that it does if I felt that these people were leading full lives with warmth and love immediately before that point.
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Antares

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feast (1987)
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2011, 11:04:38 PM »
I love to cook as well and get a lot of joy from feeding people. So I understand where Antares is coming from.

It's ethereal, it puts us on a loftier plain, and truly separates us from every other species on Earth. It's the only art form that stimulates every one of our five senses. I truly feel sadness for anyone who hasn't learned how to cook. Froham mentioned Anton Ego from Ratatouille, and to quote from that film again,  Gusteau's mantra "Anyone can cook", is not just a throw away piece of dialog. All it takes is a little understanding of the science of heat and what it does to your ingredients, alongside a little experimentation with herbs and spices and ANYONE CAN COOK.

I can't really cook. I mean, I can if I need to, but food has always just been something I've appreciated. My grandfather was a chef, so that side of the family is well fed, and my dad has always had a knack for cooking. If I was wealthy you can bet I'd be much more a food connoisseur than a cinephile. There is nothing in this world that can make me feel more alive than a well cooked meal with the right amount of love thrown in.

No one is born an Emeril Legasse or a Wolfgang Puck, even they started out with zero knowledge. To become a good cook, you have to be willing to experiment with basic ingredients and different spices, and then be willing to eat it. The only way to become good at cooking is to make mistakes and learn from them. I started out helping my mother when she was making the family meal. She would let me pour in the spices and would tell me when I had put in enough. One time, when I was eight, she was making a tomato sauce and I was putting in red pepper flake. She went looking for something in a drawer, and I kept shaking the container. Finally, I said, "Is this enough?", she looked in the pot and saw the pile of pepper and screamed "Stop!" She got a good amount of it out, but that night we all ate extremely spicy spaghetti. But I learned what a powerful spice red pepper flake was, and have never made that mistake again.

If you really want to learn, then find a good cooking channel on YouTube. Here's a couple that I like...

http://www.youtube.com/user/foodwishes

If you want to learn Asian...

http://www.youtube.com/user/ltkman

FroHam X

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Re: Movie of the Week: Babette's Feast (1987)
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2011, 11:11:49 PM »
Oh I know that if I really set out to learn I could become at least a good cook (maybe not an artist/chef, but whatever). It's more that I haven't gotten around it it.
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