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