Being married to a pastry-chef means that I am lucky enough to eat restaurant-quality desserts at home on a daily basis. Anyone who has tasted my hubby’s food will know exactly what I mean. So, imagine my joy when I found out it transpires that tomorrow we have an entire day to do with what we please. No gold stars for guessing that I just want to watch films all day and the chef happily informs me all he wants to do is bake. Seeing as I love eating almost as much as I love watching films, we shall combine the two. I will choose the films for each meal, while my better half cooks up a storm in the kitchen, with a little bit of help from our Purple Parrot Patrick Swayze peering down on the proceedings from his perch. I have sneakily taught him to shout out random ingredients in a panicked voice as you cook, as though one might have forgotten something. Terribly amusing for me, less so for the chef.
The Breakfast Club
Let us start with a classic. John Hughes at his finest. It may look slightly dated now at thirty-five years old, but the themes of teenage loneliness and rebellion do not seem to age much. Five disparate youths have to spend a whole Saturday in detention at their school as a punishment for various crimes. Throughout the day they open up to each other and realise they have more in common than they thought. A lovey time-warp of a film with a great theme about not judging on first impressions, which I feel we can all be guilty of at times, no? And I defy you not to sing your heart out to the theme tune.
I was about to go all high brow and insist that we watch the Argentinian classic El Almuerzo, but as it is only elevenses and my poor hubby has more than a few more films to get through, I decided to be kind and offer up Paddington as our mid-morning treat. I am assuming you are all familiar with the tale of a little Peruvian bear ending up in London? Good. No need for a synopsis then. Just platefuls of marmalade sarnies and endless mugs of hot chocolate a la Mr. Gruber. Super.
WARNING! Maybe pass this film if you thoroughly enjoyed the previous film about a fluffy little bear.
Naked lunch is a metatextual (look it up) adaption of William Burroughs’ 1959 novel based on the exploits of a junkie moving between the USA, Mexico, and Tangier. If you have never read any William Burroughs or had the pleasure of watching a David Cronenberg film, maybe try a bit of both before you decide if Naked Lunch is for you. As I can assure you, it is not for everyone. Actually, as a little pointer, may I suggest that you eat lunch before you sit down to watch? And perhaps keep it light. Note to hubby.
Tea With Mussolini
For those of you who still feel like eating after the delights of Naked Lunch. Here we are, a much gentler way to spend an afternoon. The fascinating true story of The Scorpioni, a group of English ladies living in Florence who decided to stay put and protect the Italy they loved during World War II. Based on his autobiography, and beautifully directed by the genius that is Franco Zefferelli, with the memories of the ladies he knew in real-life setting the scene. My dear old chums The British Dames (Joan, Maggie, and Judi) all deliver sterling performances. I am moist with anticipation picturing a plethora of English and Italian tea-time delicacies to delve in to. Meravigliosa!
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
A dear artist friend of mine always says, “everything in context”. And he is right. The fact that interracial marriages were illegal, yes, illegal, in seventeen of America’s fifty states just six months prior to the release of this film in nineteen sixty-seven tells us all we need to know. Spencer Tracey, Sidney Poitier, and Katherine Hepburn star in this classic about a white woman planning to marry a black man and the drama that ensues after the announcement. What is so terribly sad, in my opinion, is that over fifty years later people like Jordan Peele are still tackling the same issues, albeit with such incredible films as ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’, telling the story from a modern-day perspective. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, and all that.
A Feast At Midnight
Finally! A midnight feast. Just what the doctor ordered after a day of bingeing. A sweet little British comedy about a young boy at boarding school forming a secret midnight feast society, where the boys bond through the shared efforts of cooking. British Stalwarts Christopher Lee and Robert Hardy add gravitas to the proceedings. No Oscar winner, for sure, but a little bit of frolicsome fun to watch while feasting on a surfeit of French Fancies. I, for one, cannot wait.
God Save the Queen. Lord bless you all. Same time next week fellow film lovers.