Two of my favorite things are 1) eating and 2) watching movies. I know I'm not alone in this - they're pretty universal forms of entertainment. But the union between these two activities doesn't have to end with overpriced popcorn at the movie theater.
One of my favorite theaters is the Parkway Theater in Oakland, California, where you can order food and drinks, sit on comfy sofas and have dinner while watching a movie. "Spaghetti Western" night was particularly fun - enjoying huge bowls of spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread while watching Clint Eastwood chasing Italians around on horses is a food/film combo that is hard to beat.
Food appears in so many films in so many ways. Often it's as a powerful metaphor, used to explore the universal subjects of family, culture, love, sex, life and death. Sometimes the film is simply about food itself, or people who are passionate about cooking or eating.
In tribute to these two passions of mine, food and film, I've attempted to put together the most comprehensive list possible, of films which are either about food, cooking, and/or eating or feature a specific food item or eating establishment in some way. I've also tried to list the perfect food to eat while watching each of these films. I haven't yet seen all of these films (I don't have very much leisure time), so I can't recommend the perfect food for all of them. The films which I consider excellent and highly recommend, are marked with a star symbol: . Eventually, my goal is to provide not only suggested foods, but recipes as well. As I find the time, I will be posting the recipes. Consider this article a "work-in-progress".
During my research, I've discovered that there are a disturbingly large number of "cannibalism" films out there. I had to limit myself to selecting only those which dealt directly with food, eating establishments and/or gluttony. The fact that I have recently moved into a neighborhood which seems to be populated almost entirely by nocturnal flesh-eating zombies makes me wonder. Why there are so many people-eater films? Are they based on true stories? Frightening thought! Another thing I've learned while compiling this list is that, whenever meat pies are featured in a film, they are invariably human meat pies. I've labelled all of the "meat pie" movies with this handy meat pie icon: so you can be forewarned. I didn't mark all of the a cannibal movies, since that might spoil the "surprise" element in a lot of them. Just the meat pie movies.
This list is certainly not 100% complete. I've had to eliminate many "borderline" films in order to keep the list manageable. But, if you know of a great food film which is missing from these pages, please send it, with a short description/review, to foodfilms[REMOVETHISSPAMBLOCKERBEFORESENDING]@yumfood.net. Or, if you have the cover art or perfect food accompaniment for any of these films which is missing those items, please send it along too!
And now, on to...Screen Cuisine!
**NEW!** Check out "Cinema Recipes" at the Mangiare Bene website for recipes for dishes for many movies on this list!
[click on the links from titles/covers for more info or to buy the movies]