berlinale: bushi no ichibun – a culinary tragedy

subtitle: Biolek, blunders and bad food

The culinary cinema series, Eat, Drink, See, started yesterday night with a screening of Bushi no Ichibun, a Yoji Yamada film.

Future screenings: Wednesday 14.02 and Thursday 15.02, online tickets available

We were informed that the director couldn’t be there because he was in the middle of filming his 80th movie in Tokyo while we were watching his 79th.

On screen: I really adored this movie. Excellent. In the context of the culinary cinema series, it was a bold (scary for us) choice to pick a movie that centers around FOOD POISONING. Always happy to avoid listeria/toxoplasmosis during these last weeks, I figured at least they wouldn’t be serving sashimi later on.

Asides: I’d imagine the conversations you overhear at Berlinale
are always very amusing to non-industry folks, like me. Behind us in the
screening, some guy was lauding his own plans to make the Asian version
of Ocean’s Eleven with all Asian stars from different countries. "I’m
getting the lead guy in this film for my movie," he insisted. Made me
chuckle. Especially when one of the companions remarked that the film
was long and he said before the film started, "Oh we can leave if you

On the table: I’ll start out with saying that I’ve only heard good things about Margaux. Still I was a
bit skeptical of the chef’s take on Japanese inspired food. Apparently
with good reason. This may be a gross generalization but I think most
Japanese people, and most people in the world actually, enjoy rice
cooked. Cooked without green tea would be a personal preference of
mine. No story about "cooking" at a temperature for hours that never
reached over 80 degrees, regional products, and "Asian, I mean,
Japanese spices" will make uncooked rice taste good. This was not tasty. At all.

On the stage: Since the food was predominately inedible, I was
dying to eat something else. This was after our original table was
double booked and we waited and waited and waited to be seated. Perfect
for a huge pregnant woman. We lucked out at a nice secondary table
where we sat next to an American journalist and small restaurant owner
+ partner. Once Biolek got back on stage, we weren’t allowed to order
any additional food. It was either talk to your neighbors or listen to
the prattle of a TV food star who obviously didn’t see the movie.

He came up with brilliant questions to address to the director of the Japanese Cultural Institute. I often have problems eating with chopsticks. Do you have similar problems eating with a knife and fork?

Apparently, he did see Memoirs of a Geisha. Geisha seemed to be stuck in his mind when questioning Kaori Momoi. Her answer: I’m not a geisha. I’m an actress.

Eventually I got too hungry and we had to leave. But the movie rec stands.



  1. Thomas said,

    Monday 12 February 2007 at 1:24 pm

    [Trackback]: Aus den Berlinaleblogs..

  2. sattva said,

    Tuesday 13 February 2007 at 11:18 am

    Hi Thomas, Thanks for the link from the RBB Berlinale Blog!

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