ReDiscover: A Festive Feast | Programme Notes

Cinema's on the menu this holiday season – and it's delicious.

The Picturehouse Team

08 Dec 23

Few things bring people together in the way that a full course meal can (a good film being the ultimate, obviously), so this December, Picturehouse invites you to take a seat at our table and dig into A Festive Feast: our ReDiscover season celebrating food on film, with a side helping of the usual classic Christmas favourites. Bon appétit.


Babette's Feast
From Sun 10 Dec   |   Book Now

A charming and melancholy Scandinavian treat, Babette's Feast is a richly told, beguiling exploration of relationships and belief. Adapted from Karen Blixen's short story by Danish filmmaker Gabriel Axel, it tells the story of pious sisters Martine and Filippa, who honour the ways of their late father, a strict pastor. Having long since rejected the prospects of love, marriage and children, Martine and Filippa are visited by a young French refugee named Babette, who agrees to work as their cook and housekeeper. When Babette's fortunes change, she offers the gift of a sumptuous French banquet to the sisters and the congregation – a gesture of appreciation and self-sacrifice. Moving and elegant, Babette's Feast won both the Academy Award and BAFTA for best foreign language film in 1987.

- Rose Butler, Film Programmer

From Sun 16 Dec   |   Book Now

Feast your eyes on this. Itami Juzo's Tampopo is a visually delicious tale of food and love which celebrates the transcendent power of well-made meals in sensory style. When Goro rolls into town in his milk-truck, looking to satisfy his hunger, he encounters Tampopo and her failing eatery. Inspired by her determination and work ethic, he agrees to help her set up the perfect ramen restaurant. A cross-section of contemporary Japanese society passes through Tampopo's world. As well as nods to a variety of film genres. From the opening moments, Itami playfully includes aspects of the Western with its veneration of the tough-but-tender hero, who helps Tampopo conquer in the highly competitive world of the small noodle shop. Woven into this main story are a series of vignettes all of which provide carefully selected ingredients adding flavour and richness to the whole. Just like a good bowl of ramen should.

- Anna Shepherd, Film Programmer

The Truffle Hunters
From Sun 22 Dec   |   Book Now

In a remote, forested corner of Italy, a community of elderly men - and their noble, highly-trained canine companions - are the only ones who know how to coax the prized white Alba truffle from the earth. Niche, it may seem. But this lush and poetic documentary, helmed by executive producer Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), is really sniffing around for something universal and sublime. As the culinary demands of the uber-wealthy place increasing pressure on an already-fragile ecosystem, filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw turn their attention to the secret, sensory magics of a life lived in nature: the ecstasy of a new flavour, the satisfaction of a ritual carried out with friends, and the rough, breathless joy of being a dog in the forest.

- Lucy Fenwick Elliott, Picturehouse Marketing

Phantom Thread
From Sun 22 Dec   |   Book Now

Welsh rarebit with a poached egg. Bacon. Scones, butter, cream, jam. A pot of Lapsang souchong tea. And some sausages. So begins Reynolds Woodcock and Alma's unconventional romance. From honeymoon lovers to bitter lovebirds, Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread tracks the pair's relationship in a darkly humorous take on the romantic drama. With each character in their assigned role - the dashing London tailor, his long suffering sister, and the naive county girl - Anderson proceeds to unravel each one to get to a core question. Food is love, but what kind of love do we really need?

Phantom Thread gathers the best of the best, from Daniel Day-Lewis in his (current) final performance as the talented Woodcock - perhaps Anderson's most wry name in his whole film canon - to Mark Bridges' costumes which perfectly invoke the era, to the sumptuous score by Radiohead alum Jonny Greenwood. The film is a delight for all the senses, and earned its fair share of Oscar nominations (six in total), so it seems a fitting end to our Festive Feast.

- Issy Macleod, Film Programmer

From beloved classics to unearthed gems, reintroduce yourself to the best films of yesterday with reDiscover — be that last decade, or last century. reDiscover is free for Picturehouse Members, and all tickets are just £8.

Can't get enough Christmas? Find our main festive programme here, or check out what's planned at your local.