Culinary cinema at the Berlinale
The 63rd Berlinale, which draws to a close this Sunday the 17th, has once again been a star-studded affair, but it is the films, not the celebrities which have really stolen the show – and rightly so. The winner of the Golden Bear, the prestigious award for best film in the festivals competition section, is soon to be announced. To get you in the mood, have a read of Berlin&I magazine’s top five past-winners. It will be a closely run competition as always, though my money is on the third part in Austrian director Ulrich Seidl’s “Paradies” trilogy – “Paradies: Hoffnung”. The second part in the trilogy, “Paradies: Hoffnung” is due to come out in Germany at the end of March.
But it is the culinary cinema section of the Berlinale, not the much-hyped competition section, which I found particularly enjoyable this year. The concept is simple: a selection of the best new films about food are served up with gourmet cuisine inspired by the films themselves. The venue is the magnificent Martin-Gropius-Bau, an exhibition space which also has its own 200-seat cinema. Last night, I went along to the world premiere of Jadoo, a heartwarming British comedy about family feuds and mouthwatering Indian food. Director Amit Gupta, as well as several cast members–including leading lady Amara Karan–were in Berlin to present the film, which is one of only three British entries at this year’s festival.
As a Brit, I despair at not being able to get a decent Indian curry in Berlin, and after watching Jadoo I was ready to book my next flight back to London, but luckily double Michelin-starred chef Tim Raue was on hand with some decent India fare in the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant across the road: cauliflower, watercress and papadum starter, followed by a prawn and chickpea red curry, and a delightful mango, tapioca and vanilla dessert. The film also depicted an afternoon of paint-throwing fun at the Holi festival in Leicester and, after a little internet research, I discovered that there a Holi festival in Berlin was recently launched. Keep an eye on their website to find out when the next one will take place.
All in all, I would thoroughly recommend paying the culinary cinema a visit at next year’s Berlinale, but if you can wait until then, why not rent out Les Saveurs du Palais on DVD and reserve a table at the Brasserie Le Faubourg for afterwards?