The cinephile's film-distributor, the Criterion Collection, has been growing a compendium of supplementary film materials on their website -- essays, features, news, press, photos -- and last month it added small but strong tribute to food in film. Felicitously titled "A Criterion Feast," the piece offers a look at fourteen of the most exceptional meals from the Collection. Compiled of iconic internationals and domestic deep-cuts, the films represented and the meals therein aren't necessarily the ones you'd expect. They span the breadth of cinema, continent and cuisine, from Czech New Wave to Hong Kong Second Wave to American indie, and describe mise en scene as if were amuse bouche.
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Among the essays you'll find thoughts on an intimate moment between an unraveling woman and her meatloaf (Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles); noodle soup steeped in innuendo (In the Mood for Love); a bit of practical cannibalism (Eating Raoul); and the sentence, "Graphic matches between bare buttocks and eggs, images of hands delicately kneading flour, and Izabela gently blowing on sheets of paper-thin pastry dough--this is actual food porn" (Love Affair, or The Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator). And with them, fourteen new items on our Amazon wish list.