How did “Food Day / Film Day” become a reality?
I started EatDrinkFilms with the goal of providing entertaining original writing on food, beverages and the movies. But I also wanted to create a “food film festival” where we could celebrate the exploration of eating and drinking in cinema. While there are hundreds of memorable scenes in movies from Chaplin to Pagnol, Tom Jones to Five Easy Pieces, there is a terrific list of movies that focus on the pleasures (and sometimes downsides) from the consumption of food and drink. And there is a growing list of new movies to add to the collection.
Our plan is to present a full fledged “Feastival” in August, 2016. It will spread over eleven days in San Francisco, Marin, the Peninsula and the East Bay.
Food Day inspires Americans to change their diets and our food policies. On October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to seek improved food policies.
We offered to partner with Food Day to produce a sneak preview of our bigger event.
First we celebrate edible feasts – meals beyond the dinners most of us would ever experience.
Part of our plan has been to invite chefs to introduce a favorite classic movie.
Gayle Pirie and John Clark have made their Mission Street restaurant, Foreign Cinema, one of the city’s most consistently exciting eateries with the always superb food amidst a tribute to international cinema as evidenced by the wonderful collection of movie posters and screenings on the outdoor courtyard wall.
Gayle and John will present the Oscar-winning gastronomic classic Babette’s Feast at 1:15pm on Saturday, October 24. Arrive early so you can enjoy tastings of Vanilla Bean Organic Ice Cream from Straus Family Creamery and handcrafted meringues from The Grand Meringue.
We have created a visual essay of the multi-course feast Babette prepares.
Among the three San Francisco Premieres is a movie about a contemporary dinner that could not have been accomplished at the end of the nineteenth century when Babette’s Feast takes place. The producers of El Somni (The Dream) describe it as:
“An opera in a dozen courses and a banquet in a dozen acts … combining opera, electronica, poetry, 3D, performing arts, singing, reflection, painting, films, music and cookery.”
We offer a trio of featured articles about El Somni. First, find out about the Roca brothers, whose Barcelona based El Celler de Can Roca has recently been named The World’s Best Restaurant. Then we offer complex yet fascinating Roca recipes, a fish entrée and a dessert. Plus our Critics Corner has two different reviews of the film from expert food writers.
The screening of El Somni (The Dream) will be preceded by Spanish influenced tastings from Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, renowned for their tapas. Plus wine.
Later in the week we will bring you an excerpt from Michael Pollan’s best-selling book In Defense of Food, the basis for the new movie by Michael Schwarz, who will introduce his film on Saturday at 4:00pm and be joined by Dean Schillinger, MD from the UCSF Hospital and Diabetes Center, who is featured in the film, for a lively post-screening discussion.
There will be vegetarian goodies from La Mediterranee of Noe Valley before the screening.
We will also feature a review of The Ways of Wine, our third Premiere, which plays Saturday at 9:15pm preceded by Y Rousseau’s Tannat Russian River wine and chocolates. The film will be introduced by Master Sommelier David Glancy, founder of the San Francisco Wine School who will follow the show with stories of his friend Charlie Arturaola, the sommelier who “loses” his palate in the movie.
Plus “Eat My Shorts” will highlight the kinds of works you will see at our free program “Celluloid Appetizers” on Saturday at the Exploratorium’s Kanbar Forum at 11:00am.
The full “Food Day / Film Day” program can be viewed and downloaded here.
Gary Meyer started his first theater in the family barn when he was twelve years old. He directed a monster movie there and wanted to show it on the set. It became The Above-the-Ground Theatre where over 250 films were screened along with live productions, workshops and the publication of a literary/arts/satire zine, “Nort!” and a film newsletter, “Ciné.” After film school at SFSU he calls his first job as a booker for United Artists Theatres “grad school” that prepared him to co-found Landmark Theatres in 1975. It was the first national arthouse chain in the U.S. focused on creative marketing strategies to build loyal audiences for non-Hollywood fare. After selling Landmark, he consulted on many projects including Sundance Cinemas and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Rose Cinemas, created the Dockers Classically Independent Film Festival and Tube Film Festival for the X Games, and resurrected the 1926 Balboa Theatre in San Francisco. Meyer joined the Telluride Film Festival in 1998, becoming a Festival Co-Director in 2007-2014. He founded the online magazine, EatDrinkFilms.com in April 2014, and is preparing the EatDrinkFilms Festival for Summer, 2016 with a national tour to follow. A day of food films will be presented as part of Food Day on October 24 in San Francisco.