You need a good chopping scene

Chopping is also excessively cinematic in that it mimics the very techniques of film production and editing, the precise chopping of continuous reality into 24 images per second, the mini-guillotines used to trim and edit film stock, the terminology of cuts and splices.

One of the delights of watching food-centric films is to see the main characters demonstrate their culinary skills. The breaking of an egg, the flipping of an omelet, the chopping of an onion (or a carrot or a piece of celery) become impressive feats when performed with dexterity and brio. The food writer Michael Pollan has noted that television cooking shows have come to resemble athletic events, showcasing the spectacular, often competitive talents of their chefs. In narrative film, however, the spectacle of cooking is always more than spectacle; it is also a dynamic means of representing character. Chopping, in particular, in being both precise and violent, is an exceptionally cinematic activity, capable of expressing repressed emotions of rage, bitterness, and passion. It is no wonder that most every film in which food plays a role invariably has a chopping scene.


from “Eat Drink Actor Director,” by Paula Marantz Cohen, The Smart Set, 22 January 2010 :: via Arts & Letters Daily

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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