Babette’s Feast

Monday, September 7, 2009

When I lived in Princeton, there was a weekly film series in one of the lecture halls on campus. (I seem to recall that it was the chemistry building, but I could be wrong about that, that seems like an exceptionally weird place to show movies.)

I don’t remember who sponsored it, or whether it was in the summer or all year, but I remember going to them on a regular basis. There would be two movies on a particular theme shown together as a double bill. Some were new and some were older, and usually they were good movies, and it was cheap and took up the whole night — and since we were all very poor, a cheap activity that took up the whole night was definitely a good thing. So we went to a lot of those.

There were some really good combinations — The Grifters and House of Games, True Love and Moonstruck, Metropolitan and Reversal of Fortune. Also some not so good combinations — for instance The Last Temptation of Christ and Wings of Desire nearly did me in. Not that they’re not good movies, but I don’t recommend trying to watch those back to back sitting on a wooden seat in a college lecture hall. After 2-1/2 hours of Martin Scorcese and Jesus Christ, the last thing you need is a movie that beings with random meaningless sentences that only angels can hear, in German. (Now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t even believe we sat through that whole thing.)

One of the movies I saw in the chem lab was Babette’s Feast, and it’s now driving me crazy that I can’t for the life of me remember what it was paired with. The only thing I can think of is Diva, mostly because that’s another one I saw that I can’t remember what it was paired with, and they are peripherally related in the sense that they both touch on art and artists. But that doesn’t seem right, it seems like it should have been another food movie.

None of which is at all relevant to anything, it’s just what I think of when I think about Babette’s Feast, which is really a great movie, and which I’ve been thinking about the past few days because I’m having some friends over for a nice dinner. I’m not spending 10,000 francs, but I’m definitely spending more than a dollar, and it’s a different experience shopping for a meal and not thinking at all about how much it will cost or even trying to think about ways to do it for less.

I don’t expect my dinner to be quite the transformative experience of Babette’s, but hopefully it will be good.

In the midst of thinking about that, I offered at the last minute to take care of food for the folks who worked at the Scrap Exchange’s Swap-O-Rama Rama this past weekend. And for that I actually was thinking about how much it would cost and trying to do it for less.

I’m very good at shopping and cooking cheaply for myself, but I’m not always good about doing it for other people, and I’m working on getting better at that. I figured this was a good opportunity to work on that, so I spent a lot more time on it than I would have otherwise, and I did learn some interesting things that I will share once I’m done with my special dinner and can get everything analyzed and written up.

So there’s something for you all to look forward to.

One Response to “Babette’s Feast”

  1. Valerie Says:

    Love, love, LOVE Babette’s Feast. I’ll have to dig out the DVD and watch it again this week. Looking forward to hearing how your special dinner goes!


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