Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Food-related film at the 4th Berlinale Talent Campus

February 23, 2006

‘Doña Ana’, watercolour and collage that inspired Marlon Vasquez Silva’s animation film Strawberry Eating Woman. ‘Doña Ana’ © Marlon Vasquez Silva, digital image courtesy of the artist

Apparently the director of the Berlinale International Film Festival, Dieter Kosslick, is obsessed with food and cooking. This explains why one of the six programmes had as its theme Food, Hunger and Taste. The 4th edition of the Berlinale Talent Campus (BTC), a section for young-ish filmmakers (when young means under 40), was dedicated to a heavily-worked relationship between food and film. Aside from my interest in the subjects, this was the most coherent and well-organised programme within the Berlinale. The Talent Campus offered young filmmakers a chance to meet, show their films, attend presentations, workshops and in general become indoctrinated I mean introduced to the film industry.

Although the evenings’ big-screens at the BTC lamentably included worn out choices of food-related film like Babette’s Feast, Eat Drink Man Woman, (how to ruin great films with unimaginative programming) and the dreaded ‘Food + Romantic Comedy’ genre piece, ‘Bella Martha’ by Sandra Nettelbeck, the programmers were wise enough to screen historical gems like Marcel Pagnol’s ‘Harvest (Regain)’, informative documentaries like Hal Erickson’s ‘Alice Waters and her Delicious Revolution’ (2003) and the most sensual cinematic food chain and materials exploration ever made, ‘Drawing Restraint 9′ by Matthew Barney.

This year, thirty-two young filmmakers were spotlighted in the Berlinale Talent Campus and divided into a five part programme titled unoriginally, ‘Food for Thought’. From the selection, the films on the subject of hunger tended to suffer most from ill-research and moralist pedantics.

But when the films were good, they were very very good. Here is the culiblog selection of the eight best films on Food, Hunger and Taste from this year’s Berlinale Talent Campus (in alphabetical order):

EviannaÏve image still © Verena Vargas, used courtesy of e|x|il Film

Tiny Katerina serves food to the dogs, image still © Ivan Golovnev, used courtesy of Golvnev Film

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