With all the recent talk about what NASA types eat in orbit (Swedish meatballs whipped up by Rachael Ray and jambalaya BAM!-ed out by Emeril), and following last month's furor over just what and how much astronauts drink, it seems an appropriate time for The Celluloid Pantry to take a telescopic look at space food.
There are so many movies to choose from—and we want to hear some favorite picks from you (TV counts too)—but to get things started, here are three from the 50s, 60s, and 70s:
Nineteenth-Century peasants, a rubber-boot wearing bird lover, a magazine-pedaling teacher, French kids with dreadlocks, and a two-star chef—these are some of the culinary scavengers you’ll meet in Agnès Varda’s moving documentary, The Gleaners and I (2000).
Does all wine necessarily get better with age? Short answer: No. But in the late 70s, director/actor Orson Welles famously brought the oversimplified notion home to TV viewers when he did a turn as pitchman for the California jug wine producer, Paul Masson (you can see him in action here). Swirling his glass and raising one eyebrow, he intonated in a rich baritone, "We will sell no wine before its time."
There’s a story about Van Halen and M&M's. The band's tour rider was said to specify that a bowl of the candy always had to be waiting backstage with the brown pieces removed. If a single brown one was found, all bets were off. Lead singer David Lee Roth later claimed this was only a litmus test, a kind of a marker for the ability to follow instructions. “We have a very technical tour operation,” he explained.
American moonshine, recycled tea leaves, black market chocolate, and a tunnel under the stove. In The Great Escape (1963), British and American WWII POWs work together to approximate the little luxuries in life and collaborate to keep their German captors on their toes.
"If I'd drunk that much lemonade I'd be sour for a week."
When, in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), small-town, racily named ingenue Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton, center) sips lemonade at a farewell party for the troops, writer-director Preston Sturges is dancing with the censors.
Goat Cheese, olives, onions, capers, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, rosemary, lavender—these are some of the simple, sunny ingredients that go into the zesty cuisine of Provence. In Jean de Florette (France, 1986), these full, fresh flavors are brought vividly to life.