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Gastronomy in films: flavours and memories by Denis Saillard


Food-related scenes are extremely common in films. Many hundreds of films, such as babette’s feast (denmark, 1987), the scent of green papaya (France/Vietnam, 1992), haute cuisine (France, 2012) and sweet bean (Japan, 2015) even placed gastronomy at the very heart of the scenario. To compensate for the limited technical capability of the medium of film, cinemas sometimes organize tastings of foods that have a connection with the film, dorayakis (sweet pancakes with kidney beans) for sweet bean. However, by simply using images and sound, many film directors are very successful in portraying food flavours as well as the memories which, in our lives, are linked to food. By repositioning gastronomic scenes in the entirety of film directors/writers work, the vital social role that cuisine plays will be demonstrated.

Our expert, Denis Saillard

Denis Saillard is doctor in history and associate researcher at the centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines (chcsc) at the university of Versailles/Saint-Quentin (upsay) and at the cercle (university of Lorraine).
His research examines the history of representations and social practices linked to gastronomy (food, cuisine, diet).
In 2015, in partnership with Didier Francfort, he published le goût des autres. De l’expérience de l’alérité gastronomique à l’appropriation (europe 18th-21st centuries), Nancy university press, and with Françoise Hache-Bissette, “A table!” Médias et médiations de la gastronomie, in le temps des médias, n° 24, spring 2015.

Note: this conference is given in French.

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