Film critic Elvis Mitchell, host of KCRW's pop culture/entertainment show, The Treatment, sat down earlier this year with director Quentin Tarantino to talk about his fascination with using food in movies. Now, if you're not a student of film you might be confused, thinking, "Wait, Tarantino's known for that gruesome violent stuff, not food porn." And that definitely would be a fair statement.
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But take a look at this video essay of the interview, or at Bon Appetit's list of the best food moments in Tarantino films, and you'll quickly realize that whenever his characters aren't busy knocking heads or shootin' em up, they're stuffing their pie holes with food.
Filmmaker Daniel Goodbaum set the Mitchell-Tatantino interview to a reel of relevant clips from movies including the recent Django Unchained and classic goodies like Kill BIll Vol. 1.
That short clip, shown above, is actually a small part of his longer piece called "Foodbomb #4," which can be viewed on his personal website. You'll also find a collection of his food-related works, which range from black-and-white montages of local restaurant foods to lengthy shots of a Rice Krispie cake set to NSFW music lyrics. Regardless, they'll all probably make you hungry.
But back to Tarantino and food. In the interview the director discusses food as a symbol for power in his movies. Which is probably why, as you can see, the short clip done by Goodbaum is titled "Tarantino Food Power.")
Tarantino says he never would have written overtly that the Southern slave owner Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained, ate a lot of sweets -- too obvious, duh -- but attributes the characteristic to the actor's constant "ingesting of sweet crap." Of course, they also discuss the Pulp Fiction scene in which Samuel Jackson "jacks" a giant bite of a poor guy's Big Kahuna Burger (a made-up fast-food joint from the film) just before killing him. It's a classic movie scene in which the food, though not a major part of the plot, has taken on a life of its own in film history.
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If you still don't believe that this stuff is a big deal, just check out this Food Republic recipe for, you guessed it, a Big Kahuna Burger.
And if you want to read Mitchell's piece about Tarantino and food you can find it in this edition of Lucky Peach magazine.