Sunday, June 13, 2010

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

We rented this movie last night. It's been years since I've seen it, and I'd forgotten what a great movie it is. I would rank it, after "Big Night," as my favorite food movie of all time. You're famished after watching it.

The opening scenes of Old Chu preparing Sunday dinner are priceless. I especially love the part where he blows into the duck and hangs it in a slow cooker fashioned from a metal drum (although that may be later in the movie). The knife work is a thing of beauty. The part where he slices the vegetable with the precision of a computer-operated machine, lays it flat and then juliennes it is sublime. Anyone who has ever worked with a knife knows the skill and practice required. And then there's his pinching of the dumplings. Looks easy, but I've made Chinese dumplings and what those hands do so easily and effortlessly is extraordinarily difficult.

This movie, of course, is about much more than food. It uses cooking and eating to say important things about love, life, desire, marriage and family. As Old Chu observes in a drunken conversation with his old friend, "Eat, drink, man,woman, what else is there in life?" or words to that affect.

A delight from beginning to end. Now I'm hungry.

1 comment:

  1. Stanley Tucci's 1996 "Big Night" is one of my faves. Along with Brando in The Freshman