Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Menus-Plaisirs Les Troigros

The latest Fred Wiseman movie, his 44th, about the Troisgros family is a mixture of Dejeuner sur L'Herbe and The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud. Indeed there are many similarities between between eating under the aegis of the Troisgros family, seeing a documentary that renders the experience of real time (as all Wiseman films do--minus any commentary) and watching a piece of performance art which provides certain pleasures at the expense of others. If you want to stuff your face, don't even try to get one of the reservations which are are undoubtedly as rare as the specialities de la Maison. "The first bite is the feast." Troisgros is for those who derive pleasure from olfactory and degustationary awareness. There's a wonderful vignette in which the "patron" the elder Troisgros remonstrates a young chef about his brains ("tromper" is the verb)--bringing volumes of Escoffier and Larousse into the mix. Brainwashing is what is literally and metaphorically occurring. There was a famous CBS TV series, You Are There in which Mike Wallace went back in time to interview say "George Washington Crossing the Delaware." Larry Rivers addressed this subject in a painting. Here Wiseman takes you on a culinary journey into a present that is part of the past remaking one's senses and ultimately one's appreciation of food. Menus-Plaisirs is completing a run at Film Forum.

listen to "You Make My Dreams" by Hall and Oates

and also listen to Joan Baum's NPR review of The Kafka Studies Department

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