Cinefest 2011 Round Up

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First a little T & T biz - 
I'd like to thank two new followers for following: 

Thanks guys, also looking for likes on facebook too!

Tinsel & Tine was featured on two sites this month  

The exposure is great and between Cinefest press pass and PFS giving me the opportunity to interview Morgan Spurlock (stay tuned for post) I'm doing great on fun film content; however, I really need help keeping the food content alive. I did attend a networking dinner at Marrakesh Restaurant (stay tuned for post), but I'm looking for a way to off-set the cost of writing about my dining experiences. Hmm....

Okay, back to Cinefest:

Project Nim Director James Marsh / Featuring Nim the Chimp

Quick About: It's 1973 and a hippy mother of 6 agrees to raising a hairy 7th child, Nim, a chimpanzee, as part of a language experiment at Columbia University, headed up by Professor Herbert Terrace. Over the 26 years of Nim's life, people come and go, most with good intentions, but ultimately chimps are not people and raising one as such and then abandoning him when the project fails, is more than a mistake, it should have been a crime. 

Pleasing: It's very compelling, not boring even for a minute. So well edited. The interviews with those involved some 40 years later are heartfelt, except for Professor Terrance who basically was a womanizing, clueless "tool". He comes off as the villain in the piece, accepting his part, yet feeling no remorse.  The reenactments are done to perfection. There's one scene in which they describe Nim having killed a dog by throwing it against a wall. You don't see the gruesomeness of this act, but by seeing the yappy poodle and then the blood smear on the wall, you feel as though you have.
Not So Pleasing: Okay, so I'm no bleeding heart PETA type, and Nim was no saint, but it's hard to watch when he's taken to a experimental drug facility and kept in a cage, when his whole life he was free to run around and sleep in human beds.

Brother & Sister (Dos Hermanos) Director Daniel Burman (Argentina)

Quick About: Susana (Graciela Borges) and Marcos (Antonio Gasalla) are siblings past middle age, who become somewhat dysfunctionally closer after the passing of their mother. Marcos is staid, quiet, patient and a bit lost after having devoted a good portion of his adult life to the care of their mother. Susana is a bit of a con-artist, always impeccably dressed if not a bit over done. She holds herself as a woman of means and elevated station, when in truth that life has forever eluded her.

Pleasing: It's a very nice film. It's the kind of thing you want to watch in the theater on a rainy afternoon, when you're playing hooky from the world. The beats of the film are subtle, the humor is underplayed with funny one-liners that take you by surprise.  There's a great food in film scene of Marcos preparing risotto for a local theater director he's befriended, with undertones of romance.

Not So Pleasing: I felt the description in the guide book leaned toward this being more of a farce. Bigger, funnier, louder, more plot. It's fine that it wasn't, but I hate to be in the mood for one tone and find myself watching something entirely different.

The High Cost of Living  Director Deborah Chow (Canada) Featuring Zach Braff

Quick About: Henry (Braff) is an American with an expired Visa living in Montreal making a living by dealing illegal pharmaceutical drugs. Nathalie (Isabelle Blais) is 8 months pregnant, happily looking forward to motherhood despite the fact that things are not very satisfying between she and her husband Michel (Patrick Labbe). Henry and Isabelle's world's collide one night while Isabelle is waiting for a cab to take her to the hospital and Henry is driving drunk going the wrong way on a one way street - bam! Hit and run. Days later he finds her and befriends her without revealing his identity as the driver.

Pleasing: Going in I was skeptical about Zach Braff credibly pulling off a low-life character. Fortunately, they don't try to go this way.  He is a drug dealer and he is guilty of driving drunk, but early in the film he's shown to also be a caring, likable guy. He doesn't form a relationship with Nathalie to cover his tracks, but rather is drawn into her pain and anguish and wants to make amends.

Not So Pleasing: I'm not sure. Hard to put my finger on why I wasn't really engaged in the goings on. It's not too slow. It's not too sentimental or too romantic or even implausible. It's just watchable, nothing more. The plot does kinda remind me of Ben Affleck's The Town, but you care about that deception and reveal, a good 80% more than you do this one.

 Vampire  Director, Iwai Shunji (USA, Canada)

Quick About: A gray toned drama that interestingly examines the giving and taking of life.This is not Twilight or Vampire Diaries or Bram Stoker. The main character Simon (Kevin Zegers) does feel the need to drink blood, but he's completely human. He's a caring high school biology teacher, who also cares for his Alzheimer stricken mother. All his victims are seeking death; believing they are entering into a suicide pack, not becoming a vampire's sustenance; still you've got to give him credit for not taking the life of innocent victims.

Pleasing: The commitment of the filmmaker to the style, and tone of the film, so lonely. Not haunting, just bleak.  The awkward, yet open dialogue that takes place between Simon and each of his "victims", before he drains their blood.

Not So Pleasing: The ending scene where we hear him saying in his head, "I'm anemic", seems too much like a last minute decision to create an explanation for the character's actions, when an explanation wasn't required.

Also the fact that Simon looks uncannily like my last boyfriend who was a Dracula authority, Bela Lugosi's been his idol since he was 6 years-old. I'm mean truly, if Kevin Zegers was a little older and larger, I would have sworn I was seeing my ex up on the screen. Now I just feel glad that I made it out of the relationship with all my blood intact.

Mini Reviews on Terri, Living Alone & Womb 
Mini Review on Ceremony 

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Tinsel & Tine Winners for Preview Screening Contest Guest on The LAMB Podcast Lambcast #470: CAPTAIN MARVEL w/ Rich Kirkh...

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST


The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold

By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
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With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST


Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST


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15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

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Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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