Thursday, June 4, 2009

Litsonero and other Food Movies

I am big fan of movies about food. No surprise there, I know.

But I don’t think there’s ever been a Filipino film of the that genre. I’m not a movie historian so do not quote me on this. That is why I’m quite pleased to hear of a new film by Lore Reyes titled “Litsonero”. According to the news it is supposed to be the Filipino version of the 1987 Oscar Best Foreign Film winner Babette’s Feast (Denmark). I just hope Litsonero would be able to live up to the original and not just become a poor imitation.

Litsonero, by the way, literally means lechon cook. Lechon, for the uninitiated, is the Filipino version of the spit roasted pig. It has been named as the Best Pig in a recent Time Magazine article. Famous foodie, Anthony Bourdain, put lechon as number 1 in his Hierarchy of Pork. It is therefore just natural for lechon to be the main focus of what I believe to be the first ever Filipino food movie.

In the meantime I’ll just share with you a list of my favourite food movies of all time:

1. Babette’s Feast – 1987 Oscar Best Foreign Film winner. I don’t think I need to say more.
2. Eat Drink Man Woman – A film by Ang Lee focusing on man’s two main desires. A Latino-American version was made in 2001. I still think the original was far superior.
3. Like Water for Chocolate – Based on Laura Esquivel’s novel titled Como Agua Para Chocolate.
4. Ratatouille – 2007 Pixar animated film that both kids and adults can enjoy.
5. Vatel – starring Gerard Depardieu as the legendary 17th French chef.
6. Chocolat – Based on Joanne Harris’ 1999 novel of the same title.
7. Dinner Rush – food and the mafia.
8. Soul Food – love this movie but I’ve never had authentic “soul food”.
9. Waitress – Starring Kerri Russel. Competed in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
10. What’s Cooking? – focuses on diversity and yet how one and the same we are.

Honorable mention goes to:
Fast Food Nation
Supersize Me
Harold & Kumar Go to Whitecastle
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory


Tangled Noodle said...

Thanks for the head's up on Litsonero! I wonder if I'll be able to see it here eventually? If I were in LA/SF/NY or maybe Chicago, chances would be good but Minneapolis is hardly the expat Filipino center that those other cities are.

As for your foodie film list, I have seen numbers 1, 7-10 so I'm halfway there! May I add some suggestions? "Tampopo" from Japan and 'Big Night' about two Italian-American brothers/restaurateurs. I love food movies, too . . .

The Beancounter said...

I wonder too if i'll be able to see Litsonero...i'll make sure I get a copy when i go back home in July if it is already available on DVD...might send one your way...

I haven't seen Tampopo yet... my neighbourhood blockbuster does not have it in stock...might try borders or amazon... I know of Big Night but haven't seen it yet...will make it a point to watch it as well...