Film & TV Lunch Club: October 2020 - Food
Below are the titles to discuss at October's Film & TV Lunch Club. Our online meet up will be on Tuesday 27th October at midday. If you'd like to join in with this, please get in contact as there are limited spaces. If you are unable to make it, simply use this post and the suggestions as inspiration for your watchlist!
This month we've got two feature films, a documentary series and a bonus short film to watch and discuss.
As you will see underneath the October Selection, there are dozens of other suggestions to add to your watchlist to supplement our food theme! As it's spooky season, you will find a few horror-food hybrids thrown in towards the end of the list just in case you fancied something a little more Halloween-centric. Thank you, as always, for all of your suggestions in our last meet up, as well as the people who contributed on Instagram!
1. Julie & Julia (2009; Dir: Nora Ephron) - F Rated
Biography/Drama: Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book. Available on Netflix.
2. Chef (2014; Dir: Jon Favreau)
Adventure/comedy/drama: A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. Available to rent on Prime.
3. Anthony Bordain: Parts Unknown (2013-2018; Dir: Brian Henson)
Documentary Series: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown - Anthony Bourdain visits countries, delving into their political issues as well as indigenous food and culture. Specific episode to watch: Season 12 - 'Kenya' (it's highly rated/recommended!) - all on Netflix.
4. [Bonus!] Bao (2018; Domee Shi) - F Rated
Short film: A Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from empty nest syndrome gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive. Available to stream on Youtube (unofficially) or on Disney Plus (officially). 🎬 The Long List: Optional Extras 🎬 Other notable films/TV shows suggested for the theme:
Pulp Fiction - The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. Read about the featured 'Big Kahuna Burger' here.
Sweeney Todd - The fictional tale of the murderous nineteenth century barber who sold his kills to a neighboring butcher for her renowned meat pies.
The Founder - The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into the biggest restaurant business in the world, with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
Ratatouille - A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant.
Chocolat - A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.
The Ramen Girl - An American woman is stranded in Tokyo after breaking up with her boyfriend. Searching for direction in life, she trains to be a râmen chef under a tyrannical Japanese master. F-Rated.
Sausage Party- A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory. N.B. The 1971 AND 2005 versions are currently on Netlfix if you fancied comparing and contrasting!
Supersize Me - While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month.
Lady and the Tramp - The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt.
Matilda - Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.
Food, Inc. - An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.
What the Health - An intrepid filmmaker on a journey of discovery as he uncovers possibly the largest health secret of our time and the collusion between industry, government, pharmaceutical and health organizations keeping this information from us.
Rotten - Rotten dives deep into the food production underworld to expose the corruption, waste and real dangers behind your everyday eating habits.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi - A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.
Tampopo - A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.
American Pie - Four teenage boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by prom night.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - A local scientist is often regarded as a failure until he invents a machine that can make food fall from the sky. But little does he know, that things are about to take a turn for the worst.
Big Night - New Jersey, 1950s. Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food.
Estômago: A gastronomic story - In the great restaurant of life, there are those who eat and those who get eaten. Raimundo Nonato finds an alternative way, a life of his own: he cooks in order to survive and find a place in society.
Grand Budapest Hotel - A writer encounters the owner of an aging high-class hotel, who tells him of his early years serving as a lobby boy in the hotel's glorious years under an exceptional concierge. This is on the list because of Mendl’s desserts.
Scotland, PA - A modernized retelling of "MacBeth" set in 1970s suburban Pennsylvania. Joe McBeth, an unambitious hamburger stand employee, is driven to success by his scheming wife. Watch the whole thing here - it's hard to find anywhere else!
Sideways - A middle-aged Miles is a budding writer while his friend Jack is a soon-to-be married actor. They take a road trip through Santa Ynez Valley wine country in order to celebrate his bachelor party.
Foodie Love - A pair of food lovers develop a relationship after meeting on a mobile app.
Uncorked - Elijah must balance his dream of becoming a master sommelier with his father's expectations that he carry on the family's Memphis BBQ joint. A Netflix movie.
Raw - A young woman, studying to be a vet, develops a craving for human flesh. F-Rated.
Gravy - It's All Hallow's Eve. A trio of costumed misfits with very special dietary requirements seizes a Mexican cantina and force the staff to engage in a late night of gaming, food and libations. The only caveat is what's on the menu.
Hannibal - Living in exile, Dr. Hannibal Lecter tries to reconnect with now disgraced F.B.I. Agent Clarice Starling, and finds himself a target for revenge from a powerful victim.
The Invitation - A man accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, an unsettling affair that reopens old wounds and creates new tensions. F-Rated.
🔜 Next Month 🔜
The theme for November will be AWARD-WINNING FILMS. There is no associated day for this one but our local film festival ran by FilmBath will be taking place 13 - 17 November so it is a good opportunity to discuss festival films and support their events as much as possible in this really strange and strenuous time for the film industry. So please bring your suggestions for that on the 27th September (or via email/Instagram if you can’t make it). The focus will be on films which have won awards, but we could also include films that were 'robbed' and I'm keen to look at festivals beyond the Oscars/BAFTA circuit.
Finally, a quick reminder that Channel 4 has a great selection of films, documentaries and shows to mark Black History Month - just look for the section called 'Black and Proud'. Similarly, on the BBC iPlayer site there is a section called 'Black and British'. You can also look back at the titles we watched last year for Black History Month here.