Created as a complimentary program to the Smithsonian Museum’s Key Ingredients: America By Food traveling exhibit scheduled for display in eight Wyoming communities fall 2012 to January 2014, Reel Foods offers four films that look at the ways food and food culture help shape and define our lives. The series requires four meetings with film showings followed by a moderated discussion.
What’s Cooking? (2000) Directed by Gurinder Chadha. This tasty cinematic Thanksgiving celebration gently interweaves the tension and turmoil of four different Los Angeles families as they prepare turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie for the traditional dinner – along with tamales, spring rolls, kugel, and macaroni & cheese. There’s also sex, politics and prejudice on the menu, along with philandering husbands, stressed-out wives, prodigal sons, rebellious daughters, meddling grandparents, plus estranged and just plain strange relatives. These surprisingly interconnected Jewish, African-American, Latino and Vietnamese families relish their diversity while acknowledging their buoyant, bonding similarities and generational conflicts. 109 minutes; rated PG-13.
A Touch of Spice (2003) Politiki kouzina (original title) Directed by Tassos Boulmetis. A Touch of Spice is a story about a young Greek boy (Fanis) growing up in Istanbul, whose grandfather, a culinary philosopher and mentor ,teaches him that both food and life require a little salt to give them flavor; they both require… A Touch of Spice. Fanis grows up to become an excellent cook (Georges Corraface) and uses his cooking skills to spice up the lives of those around him. 35 years later he leaves Athens and travels back to his birthplace of Istanbul to reunite with his grandfather and his first love. 108 minutes; Not rated
Tortilla Soup (2001) Directed by Maria Ripoll. Inspired by Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman, the story has been moved from Taipei to Los Angeles and the ethnic cuisine switched to Mexican. A chef, Martin Naranjo (Hector Elizondo), who has lost his ability to taste and smell, lives with his three grown daughters, school teacher Leticia (Elizabeth Peña), young executive Carmen (Jacqueline Obradors) and soon-to-be college student Maribel (Tamara Mello). The center of their life is the dinner table at which eating is regularly interrupted by one of them saying, “I have an announcement.” This inevitably sets off another sweet squabble. 92 minutes; rated PG.
Dinner Rush (2000) Directed by Bob Giraldi. During the course of one frenzied evening, a restaurant owner and bookmaker deals with a potential hostile takeover, a snooty critic, and his attraction to his dead partner’s daughter. Danny Aiello and John Corbett bring the behind-the-scenes drama of a NYC Italian restaurant to life through an exciting tale of gangsters and gourmet food. 98 minutes; rated R