Monday, December 03, 2012

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

I only managed to see one film during EuropeonScreen, namely El Bulli: Cooking in Progress. El Bulli is the name of a Spanish restaurant, headed by the celebrated molecular gastronomy chef Ferran Adrià, which won the title of the best restaurant in the world for 5 times and also had 3 Michelin stars. This restaurant only accepted 8000 bookings a year and there were at one point two millions people apply for those slots.

The movie was shot between 2008-9 and first premiere in 2010, a year before El Bulli closed its door for the last time on July 30th, 2011. 

As a documentary about a celebrated restaurant, the movie directed by Gereon Wetzel practically left out the patrons of El Bulli. There were no interview of how the patron experience the food, you just saw some of them moving around and taking pictures of the kitchen or with Adrià

Just like El Bulli (research) kitchen, the movie is very clinical with no narrative. For a movie about food, there were not many scenes with food but more head shots of Adrià and his deputies. For a movie about gastronomy, there were more scenes about vacuuming and drying an ingredient than actually cooking it.

While Adrià said that his food should evoke emotion, "the more bewilderment, the better"  beyond 'joder' if I understood him correctly, the movie is rather flat. However, I do appreciate that we could see their process and attention to details that make them the best restaurant in the world. It also makes me appreciate the amount of creativity, skills, effort, science, time and emotion behind each dishes. I really appreciate all the beautiful photographs by the only person trusted to take Adrià's dishes: Francesc Guillamet.  


colson said...

Since I'm predictable you already know what I'm going to write...(^_-)

Well, "Amour" won all major European Film Awards 2012 ( film, director, leading actor and leading actress)last week ( ̄ー ̄).


TA said...

I know.. and it's killing me.. but they screened it pretty late and mom was having high fever.