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Chewing the celluloid

(article, Culinate staff)

In the February issue of Gourmet magazine, the editors announce that the mag has posted its top 10 favorite documentary films about food. The list includes classics and recent releases, and they're all thoughtful explorations of where our food comes from and what it means to us:

# "Our Daily Bread" (2005)
# The films of Les Blank, including "Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe" (1980)
# "We Feed the World" (2005)
# "Meat" (1976)
# "I Like Killing Flies" (2004)
# "Workingman's Death" (2005)
# "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" (2005)
# "Hungry for Profit" (1985)
# "The Gleaners and I" (2000)
# "Super Size Me" (2004)

In this spirit, we at Culinate decided to come up with an arbitrary list of 10 great food-related, non-documentary films:

"Tom Jones" (1963)
The age of enlightenment.
"My Dinner with André" (1981)
Life, parsed, over dinner.
"Tampopo" (1985)
Noodles. And lobster.
"Babette's Feast" (1987)
Where ale-soaked bread meets turtles and quails.
"The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover" (1989)
You may never eat out again.
"Delicatessen" (1991)
Escargots, anyone?
"Like Water for Chocolate" (1992)
Tradition, food, and sex in mole sauce.
"The Wedding Banquet" (1993)
Gay meets straight over Chinese food.
"Eat Drink Man Woman" (1994)
“Eat, drink, women and sex. Is that all there is?”
"Big Night" (1996)
The gulf between Italian and Italian-American food.

And then we added some more:

"Mostly Martha" (2001)
A chef discovers that food is really about pleasure, not cooking.
"Soylent Green" (1973)
"It's made of people!"
"Napoleon Dynamite" (2004)
Don't mess with the tots. Or the cow. Or the llama.

Trouncing us all, the UC Berkeley library system has its own extensive online list of food-related movies.