25 February 2013-02-25

Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund in On the Road

DVD/Blu-rays out in the UK this week       On the Road (Lionsgate, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation urtext about real gone cats discovering sex, drugs and fun in 1940s USA looks never less than sensational in director Walter Salles’s translation to the screen. Riffing experimentally like the jazz on the soundtrack, it’s Grapes of Wrath-y in tone, nostalgic, perfectly capturing its protagonists’ assessment of themselves (like, way cool). In doing so it holds a mirror up to our own miserable times, mourning the loss of the energy that such self-centred optimism unleashes. Kristen Stewart, though a long way from the lead character, makes more of an impression than either … Read more

Great Films About Food

babettes feast 1987 002 the feast 2

With the good burghers of the UK reeling from revelations that there’s more horse in their impossibly cheap frozen dinners and meat patties than in the 2.30 from Uttoxeter, I started thinking about food in films. Not the “food as scene setter” – though who doesn’t hanker after a cosy neighbourhood Italian restaurant with booths and checky tablecloths, the sort you see in old Scorsese movies – no, I’m after the ones where food is either pivotal, or transgressive, or transformational. Significant, in other words. By the way, I bought these burgers from Tesco – and they’re off!     Babette’s Feast (1987, dir: Gabriel Axel) Often held up as the best film … Read more