26 Nov 2018

The food photography in great cinema banquets

In the last twenty years, food photography has become very fashionable both at the cinema and on television. But the theme has always been fascinating on the big screen, as indeed, since ancient times, it’s important how food is presented.

And so the presentation of dishes and food photography become a central binomial in many films and not just in those that talk about food.

We have prepared for you an appetizing roundup on the cinematographic blowouts of the ‘900. But first, an example that makes us understand how food can take on a great narrative and scenic importance even in those films that deal with topics other than food.

Think of the lunch scene in The Leopard, beyond the conversation that makes the plot proceed, the scene is full of elements that help us interpret a world, its traditions and the changes that are about to come.



But now let’s move on to movies where food and photography are the protagonists.


Vatel, Bertrand Russel, 2000

We are in 1671, the cook and master of ceremonies Vatel has three days to bring back his lord, the prince of Condé, into the good graces of the Sun King. Even if at a very high cost, he succeeds. The film is from the year 2000 and between sumptuous costumes and the reproduction of complex sets, it shows all the sumptuousness and elaborateness of the dishes of the time.



Babette’s Feast, Gabriel Axel, 1987

A jump forward of several centuries takes us into a completely different atmosphere: we are in a small country in Denmark and the Parisian Babette is the cook and waitress of two elderly sisters, daughters of a Protestant pastor. In a single, large, lunch, they will discover the joys of the palate.
As in Vatel, attention to food starts from preparation, but for Babette, it is a solitary and meticulous process that photography manages to convey with the same art that the woman puts on her dishes.



The Grande Bouffe, Marco Ferreri, 1973

Professionals, friends and food lovers, Ugo, Marcello, Philippe and Michel decide to end their lives by committing suicide with food.
The film is a feast of recipes, overflowing trays, elaborate preparations and allegorical representations that remain almost unchanged despite the decadence of everything that revolves around them.



Big Night, Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott, 1996

A film in which Italians try to explain Italian food to Americans. The restaurant of the two brothers is not taking off and so they decide to bet everything on a big dinner where there will also be the famous singer Louis Prima. When the guest of honour does not show up, the dinner takes place anyway, the diners are stunned by the tastiness of the food and once more foreigners will be amazed at the love and attentiveness that Italians have for food.