Monday, May 11, 2009

Food Movie -- La Grande Bouffe

La Grande Bouffe, one of the best-known movies about food, has recently become available in the US on DVD, so I watched it again for the first time in many years.

Directed in 1973 by Marco Ferreri, La Grande Bouffe is a French black comedy about four men -- a pilot (Marcello Mastroianni), a chef (Ugo Tognazzi), a television host (Michel Piccoli), and a judge (Philippe Noiret, one of my all-time favorites) -- who go to a villa in France with the goal of eating themselves to death. What follows is an orgy of lavish food and sex (added to the festivities almost as an after-thought).

I found the movie to be black, indeed, but not comic. Indeed, it is profoundly sad and a reminder that food is not the be-all and end-all of life. Worth seeing, as any film with these four great actors would be, but not if you're expecting to laugh.

Bobby Jay

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