Top 15 Movies in 2015

1. Hard To Be A God

Hard To Be A God

Aleksei German’s final masterpiece, 15 filth-soaked years in the making, takes you to a distant planet locked in eternal Dark Age squalor to stare humanity dead in the eye.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Three decades on, director George Miller brings back Mad Max in the very best action film of the brand new millennium. Densely thrilling and inventive, and as madly beautiful as a ballet in a firestorm. Continue reading “Top 15 Movies in 2015”

10 Movies That Will Make You Hungry

Foodie films haven’t been with us for very long, but neither have foodies themselves. Until 15 years ago, food in pictures was infrequently simply there to be drooled over: the drool itself came freighted with significance. Graphics like Soylent Green (1973), La Grande Bouffe (1973), The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983) – believe Mr. Creosote and his wafer thin meat – used food and eating as metaphors for category, power and overindulgence.

It was only in the Nineties when we became comfortable with food as a joy that is democratic, that it also became widely pleasurable on screen. Burnt, in which Bradley Cooper plays a troubled Michelin-starred chef, is the latest in a now-apparently endless line of pictures, from Chocolat to No Reservations, Julie and Julia to The Hundred-Foot Journey, that play to our taste buds as much as our souls. Here are the 10 that made me feel the most hungry – including a few that were far enough ahead of the trend to qualify as amuse-bouche.

1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Part of growing up in the 1970s and 80s was craving Everlasting Gobstoppers, Lickable Wallpaper for Nurseries and also the other sugary treats scattered throughout Mel Stuart’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel. From Charlie’s awestruck unwrapping of the Wonka Bars to the glass crunching as Wonka bites into a sugar buttercup, the movie paid close attention to the multi-sensory delights of eating – which made it all the easier to imagine yourself joining in.

2. Tampopo (1985)

Juzo Itami’s comedic “noodle western” takes it as read that even a rough and ready dish like ramen – wheat noodles in a meaty broth, served with various toppings – can inspire fanatical devotion. A scene in which an aged connoisseur passes on wisdom about how best to approach a bowlful turns the fast food encounter into a meditative ritual while a love scene including the creative use of an egg yolk playfully links eating and another type of sexual, life-sustaining fun. Continue reading “10 Movies That Will Make You Hungry”