In the middle of summer when you can eat dinner al fresco in your garden, all things Mediterranean come to mind. And I mean all Mediterranean food and films.
Films are a funny thing though. Some good films made in a particular area don’t make you want to go there, and some really (pardon my French) shite ones have got no good plot, writing or inspirational characters but have got that something which makes you yearn to visit the location.
Examples? Take Francis Ozon ‘Swimming Pool’. A really good film to watch, gives you some urge to holiday but doesn’t make you instantly long for south of France.
It is making me think more of French films and writing.
A really intriguing story though with great acting.
Then take for example ‘A Good Year’…Such a terrible film…Russel Crow pretends he can do light comedy and terribly fakes British accent. I cringe every time I watch it. But I watch it to the end. Why? Because of Phillipe Le Sourd cinematography. The location is so beautifully shot it always makes me want to pack my bags and go to Provence. And also to dine al fresco.
‘A Good Year’ proves that it’s not as easy as you might think, to make a romantic comedy. In theory, you’ve got good script. Ridley Scott is a brilliant director. Cast wasn’t too bad either, especially Marion Cottillard. Although Russell Crow was not too shabby either in some of his films. Then you put it all together and there you go – a fiasco. That’s why people should never frown upon a romantic comedy. A really difficult genre to succeed in.
Everything what ‘A Good Year’ wanted to be and failed was a success in ‘French Kiss’. Maybe because cast was chosen better. Meg Ryan is a veteran of romantic comedies. She delivers. Kevin Kline is a genius and his portrayal of a French man is hilarious and brilliant. Another film which makes me want to go to France, dine al fresco, but doesn’t make me cringe.
Remember the scene when Meg Ryan’s character arrives at the little French town which we find out later is Luc’s hometown, and she says’ oh, beautiful! gorgeous! wish you were here!’? That’s the line I say everywhere nice I am since I’ve seen the film.
And there is another category way above any league – Eric Rohmer’s films. I said it before and I will say it again, Eric Rohmer was the master of film making, dialogue, character building. He was the man. His films made me not only want to dine al fresco, go to France, walk and talk, but also simply just live… And not many films make you feel like that.
So this summer take the party outside.
Risotto Provencal :
1 1/2 cup brown short grain rice
1 l vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup green peas
2 tbsp olive oil
knob of butter
1/2 tsp herbes de provence
1 clove chopped garlic
grated vegetarian parmesan
1. Start with warming up olive oil and butter in a pan. Add garlic and fry on a low heat for 4-5 min. Add chopped leek and fry for another 8 minutes.
2. Add rice and coat it with oil. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock. Cook until rice starts getting tender. Add more liquid if required. Slice courgettes and add them with peas into your risotto. Cook for until soft.
3. Add salt, pepper and herbes de Provence. Mix well. Serve with grated parmesan.