February Movies & Munchies: The French Dispatch

February Movies & Munchies: The French Dispatch is on the tubes and we’re cooking up nibbles to nosh while we watch.  Join us!

Movies and Munchies group logo

February Movies & Munchies: The French Dispatch

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Happy February! Are you ready for Groundhog Day? Not the movie. Or maybe! Or do you think if he sees his shadow we’ll have lots more good movies to watch this year. And eats to go with.

With the new Movies & Munchies blogging group, it is a  certainty. Movies & munchies reformulated  last month after some seismic activity in admin so the group has new leaders.

You can find all the details on  how to join in the fun on the Facebook page. The deal is each month a group member picks a movie that we all watch and cook things to go with. Amy started last month off with Ocean’s Eleven (I cooked Clams Casino).

And you don’t have to be a blogger to hop on board and join the fun. Just watch the movie, cooking something apropos, and then post it online somewhere and share the link (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, anywhere we can see!)

This month I will be stepping up with my selection of The French Dispatch. There is not a lot of actual food in the movie,  but there is some, and then there is the French aspect. Not to mention classic movie snacks you might enjoy anyway, like popcorn and nachos.

The French Dispatch
I’m afraid I haven’t hit a home run suggesting this particular film for my fellow blogging foodies to watch this month. But perhaps a few friends. Or not. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, especially with  a  Wes Anderson  film.

I do enjoy a quirky film. They tend to run off the beaten path.

It’s a new  movie,  only  recently released for streaming or purchase. And as well, it is now airing  on HBO  if you have that.

French Dispatch Recipe Roundup

The French Dispatch Cocktail from Our Good Life

Terri Says: “I’m not one for artsy films much, although from time to time one will catch me just right, such as Bird on a Wire.  Other than that, I just don’t get the hype.  So for me, this movie was just so so, but hey, we have to stretch ourselves and try new things!”

French Dispatch Cocktail

French Martini

Wendy says ” If you are a Wes Anderson fan you will probably enjoy this film, but make these martinis anyway to sip while you watch.  I promise you will enjoy it at least as much, if not more, than you enjoy this film.”

French Martini

Drinks Galore  and French Lamb Bonbons in Pastry

Camilla says “I actually quite enjoyed it. This is just one of the many reasons I love participating in our online movie and book groups; I am pushed to watch and read things that I may not have done otherwise. Besides, it’s interesting to discuss with people who many not share your opinions.”

drinks tray

Pesto Chicken Hash

Debra says “If you’re unfamiliar with the plot….The French Dispatch revolves around an expat literary magazine editor.  This curmudgeon is played by Bill Murray (an Anderson staple).  The film is comprised of  vignettes from his most popular writers.  Each article (and reporter) is as eccentric as you would expect.”
Pesto Chicken Hash

Cornish Hens  with Roasted Potatoes  and Carrots

Amy says: “The French Dispatch is pretty quirky.  I feel like it’s one of those movies you have to be in the right mood to watch and you definitely need to pay attention to catch all the sly jokes and puns. Luckily, Hubs and I were in the right mood for this movie when we watched it.”

Cornish Hens with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

French Onion Pot Roast

And here are my thoughts: “You really need to stew this one overnight to absorb it all. It’s a slow roasting movie, like the beef. But there is much meat in it, and it nods homage to  both Kansas,  France, and The New Yorker.

French Onion Pot Roast

I feel  it is a social  commentary on the demands of the journalism industry,  and the expectations of editors who wish to publish in pure vanilla, leaving behind the articles of the past that enlightened by showing us those things off the beaten  path. Instead,  publishers favor those articles today which appeal to the masses and earn the most revenue.

Arthur Howitzer (played by Bill Murray) seeks to protect the most interesting stories,  despite their unusual nature. He sees writing as a vehicle  to show us things that are not usually seen and to broaden our horizons on those subjects.

In the end  it will fail, as money declines,  and Howitzer passes away. And  we see the “Death of Liberty”  in writing as the French Dispatch of Liberty Kansas,  all American in its virtue, shut down  completely. No more news from the “Ennui-sur-Blasé”. Just listless boredom of an unimpressive and indifferent France, where the local color  gives way to shopping centers.  And the bodies of the curious lie in the waters of the Blasé river to float away without second thought.

Indeed this is a movie to give us pause and think  of all the differences of the world which make us unique and worthy of regard, before the demands or a corporate world reduce us all to the same colorless, tasteless nothing that appeals to the colorless and tasteless appetites of  a world in apathetic decline.

It is not a gut busting comedy. More a deadpan dispatch from the artists of the film industry, who possibly want nothing more than to portray a role with color and flavor, even if in distaste. Instead,  they  fall victim to the demands of producers and investors and ticket sales.

In looking back, as we go on with our lives after viewing the film (for good or ill) the words of Howitzer ring out to us as we go: “No Crying in my Office” and over the door “No Crying” either out of sadness at the departure or the joy in  it.

This post has been updated from 2.1.22 to updated the event from invitation to recipe roundup. Both posts are combined.

One response

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: