To celebrate the premiere of Tasting Menu tonight at 8.30pm, World Movies presents some of our favourite foodie flms.
Now sit back and let us tempt your appetite with this sumptuous collection of international culinary perfection.
A Touch of Spice (2003, Greece)
Tassos Boulmetis takes us on a politically charged journey and, somewhat unexpectedly, manages to utilise cuisine as a vessel of relationships and the volatile state of affairs within the Greek community in 1955 Istanbul. The touching relationship between Fanis and his Grandfather revolves around an awe-inspiring spice shop, and is responsible for the cheeky line “like all women, cinnamon is both bitter and sweet”.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011, USA)
Jiro Ono is the epitome of dedication; one can’t help but become totally engrossed in every detail of his life throughout this 81 minute documentary. Director David Gelb had originally planned to film a collection of sushi chefs, but was so taken with Jiro that he made him the sole-focus of the documentary. Repeated close-ups of seemingly perfect sushi, as it exhales and settles, are enough to have you unconsciously edging closer to the screen. Can someone please pass us the wasabi?
Babette’s Feast (1987, Denmark)
Winner of the 1987 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Babette’s Feast focuses on the entire process of producing a “real French dinner”. Delicate charm and impeccable ambiance pervade each scene, and the sublime portrayals of the film’s touching characters leave you with a sense of what could’ve been.
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014, USA)
Here Lass Hallstr√∂m has created a comedy-drama with depth and stirring character development, coupled with the beautiful scenery of Saint-Anonin-Noble-Val. Helen Mirren’s performance is particularly poignant, revealing a tender past hidden behind a stern facade.
The Lunchbox (2013, India)
Appearing at Cannes (winner of the Grand Rail d’Or), Toronto, and our very own Sydney Film Festival, The Lunchbox is a tale of finding love down unexpected avenues. An infrequent mistake within Mumbai’s spectacular Dabbawalas delivery service provides an essence of fate, and leaves a taste of something truly meant to be. Rarely has food been portrayed as a catalyst of change so effectively, particularly for lonely hearts in the bustling setting of Mumbai.
Chocolat (2000, USA/UK)
French village life makes another appearance on our list, this time in the quiet and conservative Flavigny-sur-Ozerain. Lasse Hallstr√∂m once again utilises a picturesque backdrop, setting the scene for this sensual and moving story of food re-injecting passion into lives that have all but forgotten its touch. Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp are delicious on-screen. Dare we say this film is sometimes best viewed alone…
Today’s Special (2009, USA)
Inspired by Aasif Mandvi’s play, Sakina’s Restaurant, and starring the Indian cuisine giant Madhur Jaffrey, Today’s Special is a heart-warming comedy about finding a new direction in life and establishing priorities. David Kaplan serves up a delightful composition of family drama and absorbing food creation, with a touch of romance.
Flavour of Happiness (Shiawase no Kaori) (2008, Japan)
Cooking scenes that make your stomach rumble are abundant in Mitsuhiro Mihara’s depiction of masterful Chinese chef Wang Qingquo. A simple, yet beautiful plot allows the film to never lose focus on food’s ability to delicately bring people together and rediscover passion.
WM PREMIERE PRESENTS TASTING MENU TONIGHT, THURSDAY 23 OCTOBER 8.30PM