The next round of Dinner & a Movie events are coming up! In February and March we’ll be exploring two areas of Europe via films and food. Our film curator Mark McClees has chosen several delightful, thought provoking, contemporary foreign films to show over the course of the next two months. Each will, as usual, be served with a three-course meal inspired by the flick.
And without further ado, here are the movies!
February 23rd: Hysteria
This 2011 film takes a light-hearted and particularly English perspective on a serious issue that faced many women in the latter part of the 19th Century: hysteria. Hysteria was a recognized malady of the American Psychiatric Association until 1952, and approved medical treatment included techniques that would make any of the “Sex and the City” ladies proud. In the film Charlotte Dalrymple (Maggie Gyllenthaal) is a suffragette who runs a settlement house in the London slums, and her father (Jonathon Price) operates a very successful “hysteria” practice. Her situation becomes serious as she goes on trial to be institutionally committed because of her lifestyle.
The undercurrent of the film, along with its sophomoric gags, revolves around how physically demanding the work is for the physicians and how they seek to develop an electromechanical vibrator (Granville’s Hammer, the first patented vibrator) that will allow them to maintain and expand their practice. This recent film was not screened locally, so here’s your chance to see it!
The three-course dinner for February 23rd will be: tea sandwiches with cucumber, watercress, and ham; pea and bacon soup; and roast beef with rutabaga mash.
March 30th: The Well-Digger’s Daughter & Holy Motors
Adapted from the beloved French film and novel by Marcel Pagnol, “The Well-Digger’s Daughter” (“La fille du puisatier”) tells the sweeping saga of single father and well digger, Pascal Amoretti (Daniel Auteuil), who is raising a small army of young girls in the Provençal countryside. When his poor teenage daughter (Astrid Bergès-Frisby) falls in love with rich and dashing air force pilot Jacques (Nicholas Duvauchelle) and begins an illicit affair, she puts the family’s reputation at risk. After Jacques is called into duty, Pascal has to make a heart-wrenching decision about the fate of his wayward child.
In his directorial debut, famed actor Auteuil fills “The Well-Digger’s Daughter” with grand romance, light comedy, and superb performances, making a “love story of surprising joy” [Minneapolis Star-Tribune].
The second feature of the evening, “Holy Motors”, may not have a rating! A review from Film School Rejects describes this film to a tee: “Whether you loved it, hated it, or were scratching your head all the way through, Leos Carax’s ‘Holy Motors’ is a memorable film. This disjointed, manic work is one of the most original and boundary-pushing movies of the year, avoiding anything resembling narrative coherence and conventional character development.” This is a film that is still being screened in art houses here in the United States.
In choosing second features, we look for films that challenge the viewer—and for which we’ll all be prepared after a second glass of wine. This film certainly would fit that mold! Although rather than challenging, we might find it intellectual, as some of its components refer to the French origin of cinema.
Note: all foreign language films will be shown with English subtitles.
Tickets to our Dinner & a Movie events are $35 per person and include a three-course dinner and the flick! Call us at 507.292.1628 to reserve your tickets.