By C.J. Hirschfield
When a 97 -year-old cookbook writer is called “the Mick Jagger of Mexican cuisine,” and the “Indiana Jones of food,” you know there’s gotta be a story there. There is, and a fascinating one at that. Directed by Elizabeth Carroll and screening at the Legacy Film Festival on Aging, the documentary Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy shares the life and work of an impatient, antisocial, cranky, profane, opinionated woman—whose life has been driven by her enthusiasm and curiosity about authentic Mexican regional cooking. She is an absolutely marvelous force of nature.
By Patricia Unterman
To tell you the truth, my dear film buffs, I’m a reader, not a moviegoer, and I only read fiction. If I watch a movie, it has to be in a movie house on a big screen and it has to promise a good story, ideally involving sex. Documentaries, for me, are a bore.
But despite all odds, I was mesmerized by a new documentary on the life of Diana Kennedy, the grouchy, 97-year-old writer of regional Mexican cookbooks, by first-time movie director Elizabeth Carroll. The film felt novelistic to me—nuanced, revealing, true. It picked me right up from a desk chair in front of my little computer screen and dropped me in the upland forests of Michoacán. Continue reading
by Gary Meyer
At 94, Diana Kennedy has a youthful spirit and energy. She lives on her own, completely off-the-grid in a solar-powered house that she designed in the mountains of Michoacán. She has shared a few favorite recipes with EatDrinkFilms readers.
Elizabeth Carroll’s feature documentary Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy is showing at the Legacy Film Festival, May 24-31, 2021, as part of a program on food, “Savory Traditions.”
To celebrate the film’s release there was a celebration and discussion between the filmmaker and several celebrated chefs who have learned from Kennedy.
The entire conversation can be watched anytime by clicking here.
By Gary Meyer
For twenty years my office was in the Saul Zaentz Building in Berkeley. In addition to the movies Saul produced, there were award-winning documentary filmmakers plus post-production talent set in a wonderful environment there that resulted in high profile narrative filmmakers preferring to do their post-production at the facility rather than at the Hollywood studios. You might see a celebrity.
One day in early 2000 I was going to lunch with director Gus Van Sant. Landmark has been an early supporter of his work launching “Mala Noche” and “Drugstore Cowboy” when others were not interested. As the elevator door opened on the ground floor I looked out at the people waiting to get on and in my mind I could hear my bad impersonation, “Bond—James Bond.”
By Gary Meyer
Have you ever wondered how movies are selected for film festivals? EDF wanted to know about the process of creating an exciting line-up and we learned a lot interviewing Ruthe Stein , founder and Co-Director of the Mostly British Film Festival 2020, playing at San Francisco’s Vogue Theatre February 13-20.
EDF: You must look at scores of movies. How do you find them?