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Chicago Food Film Fest: Food, Movies, and the Ramen Burger

Chicago Food Film Fest: Food, Movies, and the Ramen Burger


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The Chicago Food Festival is back for the fourth year in a row. 21, the three-day festival will be taking place at Kendall College in Chicago. It is “the only festival in the world that serves the food that is seen in the films,”according to press release. Visitors can expect to get a taste of everything from the authentic ramen burger (first time in Chicago!) to beer-battered Baja fish tacos.. And the best part? Every guest ticket gives unlimited access to food, drinks, screenings and an after-party.

Tickets can be bought for separate events, or if looking to experience the full festival, go for the festival-wide VIP-pass. A part of the profits from the event will go towards the Good Food Project, giving Chicago schools healthier food options and education on nutrition.

During the festival awards will be given out to films in six different categories: The Warsteiner Best Super-Short, Jarlsberg Best Short, In The Raw Best Food Porn, Food Filmmaker of the Year, Terlato Wines made in Chicago Award, and the Frei Brothers Reserve Audience Choice Award.

Here is a list of the five different events guests can choose to attend:

Chicago Food Film Festival Kick-Off Party: There will be oysters from Shaw’s and the "Speculoos Shake" from Edzo’s. You can even get your hands on an authentic Ramen Burger by Keizo Shimamoto, the first ever to be served in Chicago.

Untitled II: An evening featuring the art, craft, and inspiration behind great food and the wine of Michel Chapoutier. A VIP-only pre-party will include tastings from The Social Table, and an after-party will feature food from David Burke’s Primehouse.

The Food Porn*Party Chicago: Guests can indulge in a spread of bacon-based dishes, such as country fried bacon, bacon sausages, and bacon jam. Other sweets and treats will also be served, from bakeries and restaurants including I Love Sweets, Bobtail Ice Cream, and Top Pot Doughnuts. At the after-party, you can experience the "Fondue Lounge" featuring Jarlsberg, Warsteiner, and Frei Brothers Reserve, plus a spread of foods to dip in the fondue, and Warsteiner beer battered corn dogs.

Edible Adventure #009 + Matt Timms’ Sugar Takedown: Guests of "Edible Adventure" can sample authentic feijouada (bean and meat stew) from Taste of Brasil Café and additional dishes including corned beef hash. You can also indulge in sweet treats from 20 contestants of Matt Timm's SUgar Takedown, and pick whose dessert you like the best.

Farm to Film to Table + The Lowcountry Shrimp Boil: Restaurants and chefs such as Pleasant House Bakery, Ashely English, and Hoosier Mama Pie Co. will serve their local and sustainable foods. The after-party will feature Lowcountry shrimp boil and more than 125 pounds of South Carolina shrimp.


Chicago International Film Festival

Chicago International Film Festival
Now in its 57th year, this is North America’s longest-running competitive film festival. The renowned fest showcases more than 150 films from over 50 countries, filmmaker Q&As, red carpet galas, tributes, panels, and, of course, an awards ceremony.


A pair of truck drivers, the experienced Gorō and a younger sidekick named Gun, stop at a decrepit roadside ramen noodle shop. Outside, Gorō rescues a boy who is being beaten up by three schoolmates. The boy, Tabo, turns out to be the son of Tampopo, the widowed owner of the struggling business, Lai Lai. When a customer called Pisken harasses Tampopo, Gorō invites him and his men to step outside. Gorō puts up a good fight, but outnumbered by Pisken and his men, he is knocked out and wakes up the next morning in Tampopo's home.

When Tampopo asks their opinion of her noodles, Gorō and Gun tell her they are "sincere, but lack character." After Gorō gives her some advice, she asks him to become her teacher. They decide to turn her establishment into a paragon of the "art of noodle soup making". Gorō takes her around and points out the strengths and weaknesses of her competitors. She still cannot get the broth just right, so Gorō brings in the "old master" and his superlative expertise. When they rescue a wealthy elderly man from choking on his food, he lends her his chauffeur Shohei, who has a masterly way with noodles. Also, through clever trickery they pry ramen secrets from their competitors. During the transition, the group agrees to change the restaurant's name from "Lai Lai" to "Tampopo".

Pisken feels bad for being too drunk to tell his men to stay out of the fight, so he offers Gorō another chance one-on-one. After the rematch ends in a draw, Pisken reveals he is a contractor and offers to make over the shop's interior. Tampopo's latest effort still comes up short, so Pisken teaches her his own secret recipe. When the five men consume her latest creation down to the last drop, Tampopo knows she has won. (Tabo also triumphs, beating all three of his tormentors). As customers fill her newly redecorated shop, the men file out one by one.

The main narrative is interspersed with stories involving food on several levels. Other vignettes follow a lowly worker who upstages his superiors by displaying his vast culinary knowledge while ordering at a gourmet French restaurant a housewife who rises from her deathbed to cook one last meal for her family and a women's etiquette class on how to eat spaghetti properly. Another scene involves a supermarket clerk who has to deal with an aged woman obsessed with squeezing food. The clerk's scene segues into a restaurant involving an investment scam and the intended victim, who turns out to be a conman himself.

The primary subplot involves a young gangster in a white suit and his lover, who explore erotic ways to use food. In the end, the man is shot several times by an unknown assailant, to his lover's horror, but uses his last words to convey his secret recipe for sausages.

Throughout, the film puns off stereotypical American movie themes, characters, music and camera set-ups and shots.

    as Gorō as Tampopo as Man in White Suit as Gun as Pisuken as Shōhei as Noodle-making master as Rich Old Man as Man in White Suit's mistress as Old Man's mistress as Pearl diver (Oyster girl) as Supermarket manager as Man in White Suit's henchman as spaghetti sensei as Ramen master as Man with Toothache (un-credited)

A road show release of Tampopo was distributed by Toho on November 23, 1985. [1] The film was released by New Yorker Films in the United States in 1987. [1]

The Criterion Collection prepared a 4K restoration of Tampopo that was released in theatres in October 2016. [2]

Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars, commenting that "Like the French comedies of Jacques Tati, it's a bemused meditation on human nature in which one humorous situation flows into another offhandedly, as if life were a series of smiles." [3]

Hal Hinson of The Washington Post wrote, "The movie, which Itami calls a 'noodle western,' is a rambunctious mixture of the bawdy and the sublime." [4] "'Tampopo' is perhaps the funniest movie about the connection between food and sex ever made." [4]

Andrew Johnston writing in Time Out New York commented: "This film is his broadest comedy by far, and its principal subjects are those great global constants, food and sex. That, combined with the plot's sly evocation of movie Westerns, made it widely accessible to foreign audiences." [5]

Vincent Canby provided a somewhat dissenting, though still positive, opinion in his New York Times review, stating, "Though it's not consistently funny . 'Tampopo' is one of the more engaging films to be shown in this year's [New Directors/New Films] series." [6] "Mr. Itami often strains after comic effects that remain elusive. The most appealing thing about 'Tampopo' is that he never stops trying." [6]

Tampopo has received unanimous praise from critics, with a 100% approval rating and average score of 8.53/10 from Rotten Tomatoes, based on 52 reviews. The site's critical consensus states, "Thanks to director Juzo Itami's offbeat humor and sharp satirical edge, Tampopo is a funny, sexy, affectionate celebration of food and its broad influence on Japanese culture." [7]

The 2008 American/Japanese movie The Ramen Girl, in which a girl played by Brittany Murphy learns how to make ramen, contains many references to Tampopo, including a cameo by Tsutomu Yamazaki.

A number of ramen restaurants around the world have been named Tampopo. [8]


Bookended by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Anthony Bourdain, Festival Returns to Chicago June 17 – 20

5/12/2021, noon

Chicago - CMP announced the full slate of films being showcased at the annual Doc10 Documentary Film Festival, June 17 - 20, 2021. The festival will feature socially distanced, COVID-responsible in-person presentations, drive-in screenings, and virtual programming.

"Doc10 is the first stop on the awards circuit for documentaries," said CMP founders Paula Froehle and Steve Cohen. "Because we weren't able to hold the festival last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we started the 'Best Seat in the House' series, bringing documentary films to audiences virtually. We showcased Oscar-nominated CRIP CAMP, and short-listed ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY, BOYS STATE, DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD, and MLK/FBI, and in the process we raised $20,000 for 14 partner organizations and initiatives."

This year, Doc10 opens with a drive-in screening of Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's SUMMER OF SOUL (. OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED), winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. The film is a stunning unearthed treasure destined to become a pillar of American music and African American history, documenting the Harlem Cultural Festival in the summer of 1969 - just 100 miles from Woodstock. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual wellbeing and stands as a testament to the healing power of music.

The closing night film is ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN, a penetrating and entertaining look at the extraordinary life of the late storyteller, explorer, and chef Anthony Bourdain, directed by Oscar-winner Morgan Neville and to be released this summer by Focus Features.

Doc10 will also present Bing Liu and Joshua Altman's ALL THESE SONS at a special Friday drive-in screening at the Pilsen Drive-In. This stunning and candid portrait follows young men at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of gun violence on the South and West sides of Chicago.

"This year's slate is extraordinary, eclectic, and profoundly timely," says Doc10 Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman. "More than half of this year's ten films are directed by people of color, and half are directed by women. And at this inflection point in our history, we're proud to showcase four titles that center and put renewed focus on the Black experience in America."

Doc10 welcomes four returning filmmaking teams back to the festival this year, including Oscar-winner Morgan Neville (WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?), Oscar-nominees Bing Liu (MINDING THE GAP) and Julie Cohen and Betsy West (RBG), and Sundance winner Nanfu Wang (ONE CHILD NATION).

The full slate of films featured in Doc10 2021 includes:

AILEY (Dir. Jamila Wignot Neon)

ALL THESE SONS (Dirs. Bing Liu and Joshua Altman Concordia Studio)

DEAR MR. BRODY (Dir. Keith Maitland Topic Studios)

IN THE SAME BREATH (Dir. Nanfu Wang HBO)

MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY (Dirs. Julie Cohen and Betsy West Amazon)

PRAY AWAY (Dir. Kristine Stolakis Netflix)

ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN (Dir. Morgan Neville Focus)

SABAYA (Dir. Hogir Hirori MTV Documentary Films)

SUMMER OF SOUL (. OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED) (Dir. Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson Hulu, Disney General Entertainment's BIPOC Creator Initiative, Searchlight Pictures)

USERS (Dir. Natalia Almada Endeavor Content)

Doc10, presented by CMP, runs June 17 - 20, 2021 at the Davis Theater (4614 N, Lincoln Ave., Chicago) and at the Pilsen Drive-In (2343 S. Throop St., Chicago). Tickets are $17.60 for in-theater screenings and $40-$50 per car for drive-in screenings. There is a 10% discount for students, seniors, military, and frontline workers. Programming schedule and tickets are available online at www.doc10.org.

ABOUT THE FILMS (in alphabetical order by title):

Director: Jamila Wignot. US. 82 min.

Visionary Black choreographer Alvin Ailey was a pioneer of modern dance, infusing the art-form with the rich history of the African American experience and "a discourse on freedom. and soaring delights," as author Zadie Smith once wrote. In this poetic documentary, director Jamila Wignot gracefully weaves together a tapestry of past and present, of archival footage from Ailey's small-town Texas roots and rising career in New York City, along with a vast trove of his moving masterpieces. What emerges is a complex and impressionistic picture of a determined figure, whose powerful dance pieces revealed more about his personal struggles and triumphs than any words could describe. "A tour de force of archival assemblage" that "tells his life story with searing intimacy but also jubilant solidarity" (Filmmaker Magazine), Ailey is "tantalizing. poetic. [and] powerfully evocative" (Variety).

ALL THESE SONS

Directors: Bing Liu and Joshua Altman. US. 88 min.

What will it take to break the cycles of violence in Chicago's South and West sides? William "Billy" Moore (of Green ReEntry) and Marshall Hatch Jr. (co-founder of MAAFA Redemption Project) are both leaders helping young men at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of gun violence in their respective communities. But as everyone knows: There are no easy solutions. Like their stirring Oscar-nominated documentary Minding the Gap, Chicago filmmakers Bing Liu and Joshua Altman unflinchingly lay bare masculinity in crisis, an array of intractable social conditions that are near impossible to shake, and yet the hope and inspiration that can emerge from mutual struggle and brotherhood. Intimate, heartbreaking, deftly edited, and deeply compassionate, ALL THESE SONS is a stunning and candid portrait of generations of men looking to lift themselves up.

DEAR MR. BRODY

Director: Keith Maitland. US. 96 min.

In January 1970, "hippie-millionaire" Michael Brody Jr., the 21-year-old heir to a margarine fortune, announced to the world that he would give away $25 million to anyone in need. But what at first appeared to be a magnanimous gesture of peace and love turned out to be far more complex. In this wildly entertaining stranger-than-fiction chronicle of Brody's story, and the thousands of people who wrote pleading letters to him, award-winning director Keith Maitland (Tower) reveals a moving story of one man's misguided attempts to change the world and a deeply resonant look at the desires, misfortunes, and dreams of Americans looking for help in troubled times. "Enlightening. poignant" (Indiewire) and "wonderfully strange, funny, and dark" (The Playlist), Dear Mr. Brody is "incredibly powerful. with an energetic visual style" (RogerEbert.com) and "offers a surprising statement on American hope, endurance, and goodwill" (The Hollywood Reporter).

IN THE SAME BREATH

Director: Nanfu Wang. US. 99 min.

In her third visit to Doc10 (after award-winners Hooligan Sparrow and One Child Nation), indomitable filmmaker Nanfu Wang has made another piercing story of political and emotional weight, and perhaps the most important documentary of the year. In tracing the spread of the pandemic from the earliest days of the outbreak in Wuhan to its rampage across the U.S., Wang investigates the troubling campaigns of misinformation and propaganda in both China and Trump's America, while also bearing her own and others' intimate stories of fear, devastation, and resilience. In doing so, she ultimately reveals one of the destructive casualties of the pandemic: truth. "Shocking and heartrending" (The Guardian) and "a chilling, truly absorbing film" (Vox), In the Same Breath is "a must-see for its expansive, heartfelt perspective on this worldwide catastrophe" (RogerEbert.com).

MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY

Directors: Julie Cohen and Betsy West. US. 91 min.

"America, be what you proclaim yourself to be!" Such are the activist and aspirational words of Pauli Murray, the most extraordinary feminist non-binary Black civil rights lawyer, poet, and priest you may have never heard of. In this timely follow-up to their Oscar-nominated film RBG, directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West chronicle the life of another inspiring progressive icon. Told through Murray's own potent words, this powerful documentary follows the trailblazer's lifelong moral crusade of social justice litigation and breaking barriers—against segregation and discrimination in America—all the while enduring poignant personal struggles around gender and racial identity. An "intricately crafted" (Variety) and "engrossing. tender. rich portrait" (RogerEbert.com), this essential "diligently assembled, absorbing film [is] destined to win hearts, minds and audiences" (Screen International).

Director: Kristine Stolakis. US. 104 min.

In this eye-opening and compassionate exposé into the "pray the gay away" movement, filmmaker Kristine Stolakis reveals the elaborate machinations, rationalizations, and hypocrisies of conversion therapy and its devastating reach. By gaining remarkable access to founders of the Evangelical ministry Exodus and other "ex-gay" spokespeople, Stolakis goes behind the scenes of the movement's enduring legacy across America's culture wars over the last four decades and how it continues to destroy lives. Once stars of the Religious Right, former leaders like John Paulk, Julie Rodgers, Yvette Cantu Schneider, and survivor Julie Rodgers all recount their most intimate and painful journeys from "going straight" and self-loathing to their eventual rejection of the manipulations of psychology and faith they once preached. "Powerful, gripping" (The Hollywood Reporter) and "a profoundly moving, heartbreaking examination. it might be the must-watch movie of the year" (The Playlist).

ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN (Closing Night)

Director: Morgan Neville. US. 118min.

From Academy Award® winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Won't You Be My Neighbor?, 20 Feet From Stardom) comes this penetrating and entertaining look at the extraordinary life of the late storyteller, explorer, and chef Anthony Bourdain (Parts Unknown). With empathy, insight, and culled from a trove of priceless archival material, Neville creates a moving mosaic of the charismatic bad-boy chef's rise to fame, his generous humanity and infectious wanderlust, and the personal demons he fought along the way.

Director: Hogir Hirori. Sweden. 91 min.

Set in northeastern Syria, this gripping docu-thriller chronicles the adventures of Mahmud and his intrepid team of human rights activists as they rescue women and girls being held by members of ISIS inside a vast Kurdish-run prison camp. Complete with car chases and arson attacks, the stakes couldn't be higher. While ISIS sympathizers violently try to thwart their efforts, Mahmud sends a group of burka-clad women clandestinely into the dangerous camp to find those still stuck inside. Winner of a Directing Award in this year's Sundance's World Documentary Competition, Kurdish filmmaker Hogir Hirori's masterful and immersive documentary is "startling, intense" (Variety), "impressively exciting and strikingly novel" (The Hollywood Reporter), and "a harrowing portrait of courage under fire that will shake audiences into awareness." (RogerEbert.com).

SUMMER OF SOUL (. OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED) (Opening Night)

Director: Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. US. 117 min.

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson (the Roots) presents a powerful and transporting documentary created around an epic event that celebrated Black culture and fashion. In the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Marcus Garvey Park. But the footage was never seen and largely forgotten – until now. Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance, SUMMER OF SOUL (. OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED) shines a spotlight on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. With candid footage of the people who came to listen and never-before-seen concert performances by Mavis Staples, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more, SUMMER OF SOUL is both a vibrant music film and a vital snapshot of an inspiring moment in time. The film will stream on Hulu in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment's BIPOC Creator Initiative Searchlight Pictures will release it theatrically.

Director: Natalia Almada. US. 81 min.

Winner of Sundance's Best Directing Award, acclaimed filmmaker Natalia Almada's latest film is a personal and hypnotic meditation on the omnipresence of technology in our lives. From the electronic crib that robotically rocks her young son to sleep perfectly every time to the underwater cables that keep us precariously connected across the earth, Almada expresses her anxieties about our modern world, one that is highly advanced and yet dangerously out of balance. "A fully sensory experience" (Indiewire) with "astounding photography" (Variety) and an entrancing soundtrack created in Atmos surround sound with original music by the Kronos Quartet, this cinematic experience evokes the nonfiction work of Godfrey Reggio (the Qatsi trilogy) and Jennifer Baichwal (Anthropocene: The Human Epoch) with a more intimate confessional lens. "Lyrical. elegant. and chilling". USERS is a "mesmerizing exploration of how technology is transforming the ways we relate to the natural world" (Vox).


Favorite Movies About Food?

A few weeks back I rented the delightful Japanese comedy classic "Tampopo," which, for those of you who haven't seen it, centers on a young widow named Tampopo who is struggling to make ends meet by running a noodle restaurant. One day a passing truck driver (Goro) saves Tampopo's young son from being beaten by a group of school girls and is rewarded with a bowl of very bad ramen. Goro tells Tampopo the awful truth about her cooking and she asks for his help. Together they search for the perfect ramen recipe. Comedy ensues. And very charming comedy it is, too!

Anyway, by the end of the film, I had a hankering for ramen the likes of which I've never had! I absolutely HAD to have it! Fortunately, I live in Los Angeles, and there are quite a few great ramen shops to satiate such a craving.. so off to Asahi I went. Ah, hit the spot all right.

But it got me to thinking about movies that center on food.. or the preparation or celebration of food.. And I came up with a small handful that I've seen that I think are lovely films.. films that beautifully or artfully capture the magic of cooking, eating, and celebrating. Films that make you hungry!


Chef's Table (2015, 2016)

Good for: "Foodies" and Jiro fans

Why you should watch it: Netflix's new documentary series gives viewers an insider's look behind the kitchen doors of some of the world's top chefs. Sure, this premise similarly mirrors the concepts of several other documentaries on this list, but Chef's Table—lead by Jiro Dreams of Sushi director, David Gelb—profiles contemporary icons like Magnus Nilsson and Dan Barber with an eye towards cinematography. It's worth the weekend binge-watch for anyone who wants to know the major players steering food culture. With trips to the Amazon jungle lead by Brazilian chef Alex Atala in season two, Gelb is proving his doc-series to be one for the ages. Watch the series here.


The 50 best food-on-film moments of all time

Break out the silverware for TONY's list of great grub caught on camera.

In time for the annual NYC Food Film Festival, we've compiled our 50 favorite food-on-film moments of all time. This isn't a list of our favorite chow-focused flicks&mdashthough staples like Big Night and Babette's Feast have made the cut. Instead, we've widened the pool to pick out scenes across all genres that simply got our stomachs rumbling&mdashin hunger and occasionally in disgust. Think we spoiled the soup? Put down the steak knife and give us the what-for in the comments. Or holler at us on Twitter (@thefeednyc) using the hashtag #foodonfilm.

Raging Bull (1980): The charcoal steak

An overcooked steak ignites boxer Jake LaMotta's wrath in Martin Scorsese's violent sports flick. Robert De Niro's belligerent backseat cooking ("You overcook it, it's no good. It defeats its own purpose") and furious table flip is bone-rattling stuff&mdashbut we briefly consider a similar reaction each time a restaurant presents us with an incinerated slab of beef. Watch the clip.

Annie Hall (1977): Boiling lobsters

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton's calamitous attempt to boil live lobsters perfectly captures the conflicting feelings we face each time we plunge those icky but luscious crustaceans into the scorching water: Gleeful but guilty, rapacious and a little terrified. Too bad we don't get to see Woody in a bib. Watch the clip.

The Hours (2002): Separating eggs

Though Meryl Streep would go on to portray Francophile chef Julia Child in 2009's Julie & Julia, she caught our eye in the kitchen seven years earlier in this drama. Streep&mdashwho portrays a troubled New York editor planning a party for a friend at the end of his life&mdashis most affecting when she meticulously separates eggs, concentrating intensely on the task even as she threatens to crack.

Gold Rush (1925): The roll dance

Charlie Chaplin's iconic dinner-roll dance has been replicated and parodied so many times, it's incredible the genuine article still has legs. (Rim shot!) Though Chaplin wasn't the first to try the gag (Fatty Arbuckle deployed a similar stunt in 1917 film The Rough House), the Tramp's eyebrow-wiggling, shoulder-shrugging rendition of the tabletop ballet is unsurpassed. Watch the clip.

Goodfellas (1990): Dinner in prison

"Beyond the Sea" croons in the background as Paulie, Vinnie and Johnny Dio prepare dinner in the clink. These gangsters eat better in prison than most of us do on the outside: garlic sliced so thin with a razor blade that it would "liquefy in the pan with just a little oil," iced lobsters, steak seared in a skillet, wine, Scotch and pasta sauce that's a touch too oniony. Watch the clip.

The Godfather (1972): Tomato sauce recipe

The only red splatter more ubiquitous than blood in Mafia flicks may be pasta sauce. Those who wish to make their own would benefit from a close viewing of the original Godfather. Capo Peter Clemenza&mdashthe same trencherman who utters the line "leave the gun, take the cannoli" elsewhere in the film&mdashoffers a decent recipe for Sunday gravy: "You start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it you make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs. And a little bit of wine, and a little bit of sugar&mdashthat's my trick." Watch the clip.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984): The charlotte russe

Patrick "Patsy" Goldberg has one foot in his youth and the other in adulthood when he ventures to trade a charlotte russe&mdasha white cake pastry topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry&mdashfor sexual favors in Sergio Leone's sweeping crime epic. He picks out the five-cent confection from a local bakery ("for the two-penny one she only gives you a hand job I can do that myself") and brings it to Peggy, an underage harlot. He foils his chance to seal the deal while waiting for her in the stairwell, swiping fingerfuls of cream from the cake and eventually devouring the thing in a few desperate bites. Watch the clip.

Pulp Fiction (1994): $5 shake

Would a chick as cool and dishy as Mia Wallace really choose a restaurant like Jack Rabbit Slim's for her faux date with Vincent Vega? We're not so sure. Nonetheless, the fictional 1950s theme restaurant is a rich and bizarre setting for our favorite Pulp Fiction food moment. John Travolta's take on whether Mia's extravagant "Martin and Lewis" (vanilla) milk shake is worth its $5 price tag: "Goddamn, that's a pretty fucking good milk shake." Watch the clip.

Cool Hand Luke (1967): 50 hard-boiled eggs in one hour

Thanks to the exploits of famous competitive eaters like Takeru Kobayashi, we're rarely dazzled anymore by feats of gluttony. But Paul Newman's shirtless 50-egg coup in this prison drama still sparkles. As the unvanquishable Lucas Jackson, Newman earns the respect of his fellow inmates by wolfing 50 peeled eggs until his stomach is distended&mdashin the words of one prisoner&mdash"like a ripe watermelon that's about to bust itself open." Watch the clip.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962): Rats for lunch

Joan Crawford, as the wheelchair-bound Blanche, and Bette Davis as her villainous sister and abusive caretaker, Jane, face off in this delightfully perverse thriller. When the rapidly unraveling Jane serves Blanche her lunch beneath a silver dome, you just know there's foul play afoot. Blanche's shrieking, hysterical reaction to the meal&mdasha juicy, tail-and-all rat&mdashis good, twisted fun. Watch the clip.

Saturday Night Fever (1977): Double-stacked pizza slices

Lunch can't slow down Tony Manero in the opening sequence of Saturday Night Fever. Witness John Travolta as he struts to the rhythm of "Stayin' Alive," biting through two pizza slices stacked on top of each other. We haven't seen moves like that since we first beheld the fold-hold. Watch the clip.

Tampopo (1985): The egg yolk

Topping any list of food=nerd filmography is Juzo Itami's comedy, a Japanese tribute to ramen and to the culture and eroticism of food. Though the title character's efforts to save her struggling ramen shop are captivating, our favorite moments come from a subplot involving the imaginative sex life of a yakuza gangster and his female companion. They pass an egg yolk between their mouths without breaking it he spritzes her nipples with lemon juice and lets a live prawn writhe against her naked belly. Their exploits are as appetizing as they are titillating. Watch the clip.

Julie & Julia (2009): Sole meunière

Julia Child's transformative first encounter with sole meunière at La Couronne in Rouen, Normandy, is the stuff of legends. Child called the 1948 meal the most exciting of her life&mdashan epiphany. Meryl Streep re-creates the moment with proper reverence and delight in Norah Ephron's feature, moaning and giggling through each luscious, butter-slicked bite.

The Jerk (1979): "Bring us some fresh wine!"

Nouveau riche buffoon Navin Johnson wants another bottle of wine, but a 1966 Chteau Latour won't do. "Bring us some fresh wine," begins Navin's clueless request in Steve Martin's comedy. "The freshest you've got&mdashthis year! No more of this old stuff!" We're still working up the stones to try this stunt on a stuffy sommelier ourselves. Watch the clip.

The Goonies (1985): Baby Ruth!

Sloth and Chunk bond over their shared affection for choooclaaate in the classic flick The Goonies. When Chunk tosses his hideously deformed companion the candy bar (it whacks him in the forehead and Sloth breaks lose of his chains to pick it up), a pivotal friendship is formed. Bonus points for Julia Child's cameo&mdashshe's frosting a cake on a television in the background. Watch the clip.

Pan's Labyrinth (2006): Child-eating Pale Man

Young heroine Ofelia must retrieve a dagger without waking the "Pale Man," a child-eating monster who sits mutely before an opulent feast, in this scene from Guillermo del Toro's fantasy. We see massive hams topped with pineapple rings, glistening fruit tarts, carafes of wine, and baskets of pomegranates and grapes&mdasha gorgeously styled spread. Watch the clip.

The Great Outdoors (1988): The Old 96er

John Candy and Dan Aykroyd's classic '80s comedy is perhaps most memorable for this gross-out eating scene, a great send-up of gluttonous American restaurant portions. As if the wife's order of a "bucket of salad" and "the medley of perch" weren't absurd enough, Chet (Candy) decides to tackle the Old 96er: a 96-ounce prime aged-beef steak inspired by Paul Bunyan's blue ox. We defy you to show us an actor who does meat-sweats quite like John Candy. Watch the clip.

Marie Antoinette (2006): Ladurée desserts

Few would argue with the assertion that style trumps substance in Sofia Coppola's loose adaption of Marie Antoinette's story. But if you're a sweet tooth, the saccharine, music-video&ndashstyle treatment of the French revolution sets the perfect tone for the real draw of the film: serious pastry porn, courtesy of famous French bakery Ladurée. The patisserie's lavish, color-splashed desserts&mdashburnished canelé, precious petits fours, immaculate mille-feuilles&mdashsurround Marie (Kirsten Dunst) constantly, reflecting her candy-coated life of privilege. Our advice: Head to the NYC location of Maison Ladurée (864 Madison Ave between 70th and 71th Sts, 646-558-3157) and snag a box of the haute macarons for a viewing party. Watch a clip.

American Psycho (2000): Reservations at Dorsia

Reservations play a key role in this adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's darkly satirical novel: Where you're eating&mdashplus who's with you and whether there's a good bathroom to do coke in&mdashis always more important than what's on the plate for the '80s Wall Street types the film depicts. But while it's easy to smirk at Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) and his pathetic attempt to get reservations at the mythical Dorsia ("Great sea urchin ceviche"), the feelings of insignificance are familiar to anyone who's tried to navigate NYC's rarefied dining rooms. The only difference is that, these days, the mocking laughter on the other end of the line has been replaced by the Momofuku Ko website telling you, "Sorry, but currently there are no reservations available." Watch the clip.

Rocky (1976): Raw eggs

It's impossible to stop yourself from counting along in your head as Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) cracks not one, not two, but five raw eggs into a glass and chugs them at 4am before one of his epic Philly training runs. It's not a pretty sight&mdashthe extended glug, the dribble of egg yolk down his sweatshirt, the forced burp&mdashbut eating like a heavyweight champion rarely is. Watch the clip.

Ratatouille (2007): Anton Ego tastes the ratatouille

If you can get past the knee-jerk ickiness of rats in the kitchen, Pixar's brilliant rodent romp is a delight for gastronomes. The climactic scene, in which the jaded critic Anton Ego finally bites into Remy's ratatouille, is a beautiful paean the transporting power of food: In a single moment, Ego's eyes widen and the rest of the restaurant drops away as he's transported back to his childhood home in the countryside, where his mother is cooking for him. We eat in search of these ephiphanal bites, capable of triggering emotional responses that have as much to do with how a dish makes you feel as how it tastes. Watch the clip.

Paid in Full (2002): Chinese and champagne

From Cam'ron's mispronunciation of soy sauce ("Mitch, Mitch, Mitch&mdashfuck the soo-ee sauce, man!") to Mekhi Phifer's exuberant eating style, this wise-cracking dinner gives us a glimpse the nouveau riche stylings of the crack-era hustler in Harlem. Ace (Wood Harris) and his cronies can afford to pop bubbly, wear Gucci sweaters and gold ropes, and bet $5,000 on who can throw a balled up brown bag into the trash can&mdashyet they still eat fried rice and spare ribs from the corner Chinese takeout spot. Watch the clip.


A food-themed film festival kicks off in NYC today

As Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten and The Great British Baking Show's Mary Berry teach us inner peace, scores of filmmakers are joining the frey to heal the world by capturing food onscreen. Starting today, NYC will celebrate culinary cinema at The Food Film Festival, a four-day bash at which you can eat the food you're watching live.

Held at the AMC Empire 25 near Times Square, this year's fest features viewings of James Beard: America's First Foodie, with provided helpings of burger and onion sandwiches (tonight) Hometown Heroes: Chopped Cheese & More (Friday) a screening of 1985's Tampopo with ramen and burlesque performances (Saturday) and a host of short films centered around brunch for Sunday's big meal. Themes!

Some events are sold out, but the remaining ones go for $45&ndash$65. You can learn more and buy tickets here.

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These Are the 16 Best Burgers of 2013

Twinkie, ramen, and Cronut buns. Pockets of deep-fried PBR. More bacon than Louie Anderson eats for second breakfast. 2013 was more than a slightly ridiculous year in the burger creation game, and we were there to greasily chronicle it all. While it was a torturous task, we picked out the 16 finest examples that hit the grill this year in order to help you satisfy your meat-lust needs.

Please resist the urge to squirt ketchup onto your computer. Unless it's a really old computer and you've been looking for an excuse to buy a new one -- in which case, do that.


Most Likely to Wear Vans and Flannel and Ride a Bike with No Brakes: The Beerger
PYT, Philadelphia
Philly's PYT goes nuts all the time. For this, we got a patty, house-made pickles, and frozen PBR inside a deep-fried pretzel crisp-crusted wonton. Plus a dousing of mustard-dill aioli.


Most Likely to Make You Sing Its Praises: The Gallow's Pole
Leadbelly, Chicago
This one honors the resto's namesake blues singer with a house-ground beef & pork belly patty with caramelized mushrooms & onions, smashed potatoes, Swiss, and bearnaise sauce -- just like he ate every day in 1902.


Most Likely to Make You Wait on a Line in the Rain for Four Hours: The Ramen Burger
Smorgasburg, New York
This infamous noodle-bunned miracle made headlines this year thanks to a beef patty, sweet/savory sauce, and scallions. Oh, and a BUN MADE OF RAMEN.


Most Likely to Make You Cheat on T-Bell: The Supreme Nacho Burger
Slater's 50/50, San Diego
This is a taco-nacho-burrito-something on very American steroids. Taco-seasoned patty, cheddar, tomato, onion, black beans, salsa, guac, bacon, and tortilla chips, wrapped in a tortilla and deep-fried. Throw some cheese sauce, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños on top, and you're set to breathe into people's faces allllll afternoon.


Most Likely to Scold You for Not Doing Your Homework: The Mother of All Burgers
B-52 Burgers & Brew, Minneapolis
Four 1/2lb patties, four slices of cheese, four eggs, a 1/2lb of BBQ pulled pork, 12 pieces of bacon, and onion rings, stuffed into an Italian loaf. You won't be able to dance to fit in this resto's namesake after you eat it.


A lo cubano

Movie: “Juan de los Muertos” (Juan of the Dead)

Zombie movies come in all flavors. My favorite is Cuban. In this humorous 2011 political allegory by director Alejandro Brugués, a group of rum-drinking Havana slackers face off against an army of the undead — flesh eaters they initially confuse for dissidents. The action is centered around the lanky Juan, a veteran of the Cuban intervention in Angola (wonderfully played by a deadpan Alexis Díaz de Villegas), who makes an under-the-table business out of dispatching zombies with a variety of implements, including an oar.

As he says in the film: “I’m a survivor. I survived the Mariel. I survived the Special Period and whatever came after.” In other words: a few thousand brain-chewing zombies? No problem.

Food: Oven-roasted chicken with rice and beans and tostones.

A Cuban movie calls for Cuban food, a cuisine that knows how to make a lot of out of a few basic staples: rice, beans, chicken. But the critical part are the tostones: green plantains that you fry twice for a crisp-on-the-outside, soft-and-starchy-on-the-inside sweetness that will have you praising the wonder of carbs.

Preparation tips: Slice a green plantain into 1-in. thick diagonal wedges. In a broad frying pan ( I use Teflon), heat enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat. The oil should sizzle but not sputter. Fry the banana slices lightly on each side — about three-to four minutes total — and remove them when they start to soften and change color. Drain on a paper towel.

Then comes the smashing. Cut a couple of large squares out of a brown paper grocery bag. Place a piece of banana between them and use the palm of your hand to press them to about a 1/2 in. width. (My Mexican-Irish husband’s Cuban tía swears by this method and it is generally good advice never to question the cooking methods of a Cuban tía.)

Fry for about 3 to 4 more minutes at medium heat, turning the bananas until they are golden and crisp. Salt to taste.


Watch the video: How Food Commercials Are Made


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