Feasting with the Outlander

Risultato della ricerca: Article

Abstract

While tv programs tend to acclaim cooks, by testing their ability in showcookings, challenging their skills on special talent shows and even by inviting them as opinion leaders commenting on the current affairs, cinema still prefers celebrating conviviality.Showing people having a meal together around the table involves celebrating eating as a basic transformative act, more or less orchestrated by a cook who contributes to create actual experiences by means of his services. Through them, he reconstitutes the existence of individuals, of communities or even of entire countries. This means that, in principle, the mission of the cooks on most movies operates on a level at the same time broader and deeper than the mere culinary expertise (which is not always necessary), calling into question what can be traced as eminently human in the individual and political experience of the people involved.Celebrating the table becomes, then, a way to position the self and the ingroup up to include the whole of humanity in an idea of community which is, at the same time, political (I eat like my community does), ethical (my community eats the right way), and even religious (humanity should eat as my community does).In order to let such a configuration emerge from the obvious of the everyday life, showing all of its anthropological importance, cinema needs outlanders. They are addressed to look at a particular social group from outside and reveal the arbitrariness of its way of eating while proclaiming the word of the culinary transformation. In movies, countless are the gastronomic foreigners who arise, unexpected, in order to stage the relativity, and at the same time the importance, of cooking and eating habits. And, in general, almost all the characters in this strange genre, foreigners or not, have a problem of inclusion / exclusion with respect to some groups.My analysis will show how the stories of the culinary movies can be considered as “thought experiment” of different strategies (and incomes) of a same problem of facing otherness. The result of this work will identify, scanning the stories of the movies, culinary archetypes of different political models of interaction between groups and will also show how specific models of leadership could be recognized in the way the characters address their diners to the change of their diet.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine9
RivistaE/C
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

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