Telluride Film Festival Cinematheque At Telluride Library: “Food And Film” Series Begins 2/1

[click “Play” to listen to Erika Gordon’s comments about “Food & Film”]

BABETTE'S Poster This Telluride evening has all the bells and whistles and yet, remains one of the best deals in town: free appetizers, beverages and popcorn, followed by a free Oscar-winning film and lively discussion hosted by a dedicated cinephile. Opening night of the series there is also the option to tuck into a banquet prepared by Chef Bud (Only $25/person. Reservations by 1/29 please).

The Wilkinson Public Library and the Telluride Film Festival are pleased to launch the third round of the ever-popular Cinematheque film club. The first series of 2010 delves deliciously into the subject of “Food and Film.”  “Food and Film,” programmed by Telluride Film Festival Director Gary Meyer, kicks off on Monday, February 1, 6 p.m.,with the Academy Award-winning “Babette’s Feast.” The movie won Best Foreign Language Film the same year, 1987, it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. (Check out this year’s Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. The Festival directors have a great track record for spotting quality – and winners.)

“Babette’s Feast” was an art house smash and spawned a whole new international subgenre, “foodie,” or films about the liberating effects of good food. Roger Ebert described the film as “a small but wonderful treasure of a movie…a simple and very deep story in a spare and elegant form.”

“Babette’s Feast” was first written in English as a short story, published in 1953 in the Ladies Home Journal. It subsequently translated by the author Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen, “Out of Africa”) into Danish as part of a collection of short stories.

“Babette’s Feast” tells the tale of two sisters living in a corseted 19th-century Calvinist settlement in Denmark. Their late father’s rigorous spiritual dictates were as effective as a chastity belt: the sister pass up their chances for romance and worldly success. Predictably, the pair grow up into charitable old spinsters until Babette, a French war refugee exiled from France after the Paris uprisings of 1871, enters their lives as maid, cook, and housekeeper – then wins the lottery. With her 10,000 golden francs, Babette’s only desire is to prepare one sumptuous dinner for her employers and their guests to thank the ladies for a roof over her head and employment. Religious piety has proven as effective as Nutrisystem for the villagers, who have spent their lives on a strict diet of dried cod and brown bread soup: they are averse to indulgence for fear of their Christian souls. But when the sensual meal is served, minds are opened, hearts are unlocked, and lives changed.

Chef Bud plans to open hearts and minds – and belts – as well with his movie-inspired Wilkinson Feast”: butternut squash soup, Brandade de Morou Nîme (salt cod and creamy potatoes with potato chips), roasted beets and baby greens with blood orange and goat cheese vinaigrette, burgundy braised beef cheeks with mashed potatoes and braising jus, and vanilla crѐme brûlée.

To tempt you further, click the “play” button and listen to Erika Gordon’s podcast.

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