late spring 2012 series

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n conjunction with the conference, “The Language of Food: Exploring Representations of the Culinary in Culture, Cornell Cinema presents two film programs.  On Friday, April 13, conference participant Sylvia Hakopian (Italian Studies) will introduce Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s mouthwatering Big Night (1996), featuring a fabulous cast and an even more fabulous line-up of food: antipasti, roasted pig, and capon stuffed with pomegranates. On April 14, grab a table at the hot new eatery, Gigino, where restaurant owner Danny Aiello oversees a calamitous night in Dinner Rush (2000), made by Bob Giraldi, a restaurant owner himself.  In the film, not only is the gambling sous-chef on the verge of being skewered (literally) by his bookie, but the most eccentric food critic in town (played by Sandra Bernhard) shows up unexpectedly, sending the kitchen into high gear preparing a towering lobster and rock shrimp appetizer with flash-fried crispy pasta and salmon caviar garnish. Yum! It will be preceded by The Last Butcher in Little Italy (6 mins, 2008) by Laura Terruso.

According to conference organizer Diana Garvin, French epicure Brillat-Savarin asserted that what we eat speaks volumes about who we are.  This conference pushes the axiom further, asserting that it is not only what we eat, but also how we represent nourishment in art, literature, and visual culture that provides critical information.  The conference will examine how food and representations of the culinary function as a sort of language. The language of food, at once material and abstract, permits us to approach intangible meanings through the study of concrete objects and media. Organized around this general topic, the conference seeks to explore the artistic, literary, historical, and sociological perspectives that use the culinary as a means to understand culture. For further details, please visit “The Language of Food” conference website: http://www.arts.cornell.edu