Do you love movies about food (or maybe not about food, but that feature some delicious-looking food or drink)?
In honor of Film Fest Tucson, happening on Thursday, October 13 - Saturday, October 15, we reached out to Tucson chefs, restaurant owners, and food writers with a simple question: What are your favorite food-related movies?
The responses we received ran the gamut (though some choices were inevitably common). Some participants provided no more than a list, while others explained what they loved about each film.
"If you have ever wanted to feel the rush of working in a restaurant from your couch this is the movie for you. All shot in one take, 'Boiling Point' captures all aspects of a busy, hectic, and somewhat unorganized mess of dinner service. The seamless transitions from scene to scene bring a sense of reality to the everyday stresses in the restaurant industry with a bit of 'extra' thrown in for the big screen."
"Can’t ignore some of the stuff that sheds light on the industry itself such as 'The Founder' about McDonald’s or the raunchy 'Waiting' that shows some of the uglier side of what can happen in a restaurant run amok."
"And then there’s the movies that use food and restaurants as the backdrop within the lives of the characters. Those also have relevance such as 'American Graffiti,' 'Diner,' 'Sideways,' or even 'Hollywood Knights.' I’m even fond of 'Spanglish,' simply because I get the stress of the crazy restaurant critique."
"Then there is something like 'Ratatouille' that is simply a fun diversion for most anyone and also teaches us many lessons along the way. Finally, I think nothing sold eating in excess like 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.'"
"A ramen restaurant but shot like a spaghetti western."
"It's hilarious with some unforgettable moments."
"'Kiki’s Delivery Service's' whole setting in a bakery is great and makes you hungry for cakes and breads. All Ghibli movies have wonderful food moments."
"It was one of my favorite childhood movies. I’d watch it over and over again."
"Not explicitly food-themed but it does sport a particularly rumble-inducing dinner table, to say nothing of those french fried potaters the guy kept going off about."
"A spellbinding documentary about a geriatric restaurateur who totally loves his job."
"1970’s BBC series about the first female chef in Victorian London. Great rainy weekend material."
"A deeply subversive meditation on food, sensuality, and reverence. Some of it was only clever in the '80s and some of it has become downright funny since, but the scenes of guys staring intensely at bowls of ramen have retained a surprising amount of their original erotica."
"The greatest kung fu movie of all time with some help from what, for Jackie Chan’s sake, we’re hoping is not wood grain alcohol."
"Two different kinds of broken records go on a culinary adventure in Scotland. A comedy, obviously."
"A hazy menagerie of weird obsessions, food included."
"The reason drunken conversations end up being so embarrassing afterward is that the characters you play when you are pickled are not cribbed from Dashiel Hammett’s relationship with Lillian."
"They made six of these movies, in a thoughtfully descending order or quality."
"We were going to recommend a Tarkovsky movie that we just made up called 'The Red Herring,' but then we realized that we had forgotten about 'Ratatouille,' which is far more appropriate actually. That Tarkovsky movie was going to be pretty dark and more than 4 hours long and was set to highlight the cuisine of northern Finland. 'Ratatouille' however is a supremely entertaining movie, although it does make things rather awkward the next time you find a mouse on your kitchen counter."
"I just like when Heather screams 'corn nuts' at Veronica."
"I don't watch a ton of 'food' movies, but these are definitely movies with my favorite food scenes in them. Yes, people being eaten in movies is clearly a theme."
"It's a little dated as the beer industry has changed a little in 10 or 12 years but still interesting."
As a reminder, there's going to be a number of films and experiences involving food at this year's Film Fest Tucson. The festival begins on Thursday, October 13 and then there is a fun collection of films celebrating culinary culture on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15.
Check out our article "Film Fest Tucson 2022: Celebrating cinema, community & food culture."