Screen Cuisine Spotlights Food & Drink Films
Burgundy, New Mexico, Scotch, and More Splash onto SBIFF’s Big Screen
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Santa Barbara’s many foodie cinephiles cheered in 2012 when the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) launched Screen Cuisine, a sidebar focused on food and drink films from around the world. The category remains manna for those of us who like pairing our movies with on-screen meals, and this year’s slate includes a hearty blend of drama, romance, and inspiration, with a pinch of weird.
“A lot of the appeal for food films seems to come from the rise in streaming and the fact that many people are watching food and wine docs at home,” said SBIFF Programming Director Michael Albright, who said the fest has developed a strong reputation in this category thanks to screening such films as Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Somm, Spinning Plates, and A Year in Burgundy over the years. “However, I would argue that these films are best experienced in a theater with other people in a more festive environment like SBIFF with so many great restaurants downtown.”
Here’s this year’s menu:
All You Can Eat Buddha: If you’re down with weirdness on-screen, then this is the film for you — or maybe not, as its bizarre factor dips into the unpalatable. A man arrives at a Caribbean resort and begins eating a lot, and magical things start to happen. A salsa teacher gets pissed, an octopus keeps showing up, and many heads are scratched.
Courtesy of Music Box Films
Back to Burgundy: American wine lovers would give anything to run their own Burgundian domaine. But this engaging, entertaining, oenologically correct feature film shows why that may not be the case for people who grew up in the vineyards and simply had to get out as they got older. This French family drama portrays a son who’s returned home after many years to help his siblings determine what to do with their winery and vineyards as their father lies dying. As they work through the harvest — portrayed with stunning accuracy, as are all the conversations and observations made about wine in the film — the siblings grow closer to each other and the land. It’s easily the best feature film about wine since Sideways, and many will argue that it’s far better than that.
“I wanted to make a movie that talked about wine, and I very soon understood that it needed to be about family, transmission, heritage, time passing …” said director Cédric Klapisch. “In Burgundy and in every wine region in France, like Bordeaux, it was a tremendous success. It’s a story that is very emotional for the people who work around vineyards; people then identify with them a lot, and it’s very strong for them.”
Find a longer Q&A with Klapisch at independent.com/sbiff.