Film Fridays: Haute Cuisine

Haute Cuisine (based on the true story of Danièle Delpeuch) tells the story of Hortense Laborie, appointed to be personal chef to the President of France. Before we get to the nitty-gritty of the film, can I just say that the food in the movie was so beautiful? I wanted to cook the whole time I was watching it. And eat. I really wanted to eat.

Role of Women: I loved the main female character. She is gracious, competent, passionate, staunch. She’s unafraid of adventures, travelling from the President’s private kitchen to a remote Antarctic base. She’s an artist. She’s a little bit unruly, running the kitchen her own way despite the strict rules that surround her. She’s wise.
Sexualisation of Women: There are some coarse moments in the film, a few jokes from male characters about the only woman around. Broadly, though, Hortense is valued for her character, personality, and talent, not her body. And even when she is confronted with sexism, she is not intimidated by it– troubled by it, disdainful of it, but not intimidated.
Bechdel Test Pass/Fail: Pass. Hortense has conversations with the President’s secretary (not sure she was named; it was all subtitles so I might just have missed it), and with the journalist in Antarctica.
Male:Female Ratio: There’s only four or five female characters. This is part of the plot, of course, as Hortense forges her own path through the male-dominated world of the palais kitchens. I think they did a good job of not overemphasizing it; that is, the plot was more about the rules and restrictions of the palais versus Hortense’s passionate, artistic cooking style, but still.

 

Women’s Wednesdays: Conductors

via A Mighty Girl

Holy gorgeous! It’s awesome seeing images of women with this kind of real intensity. Also lady-tuxedos. I really wish I ever had an excuse to wear one. From left to right, top to bottom. Anu Tali, co-founder of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra; Joana Carniero, principal conductor of the Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa; JoAnn Falleta; Hann-na Chang; Sarah Ioannides, the first female music director for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra; Barbara Hannigar, operatic singer and conductor; Shi-Yeon Sung, associate conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic; Susanna Malkki, who recently debuted with the New York Philharmonic; and Marin Alsop, the first female conductor to direct the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms concert.

Art: Concrete Indians, Nadya Kwandibens

“Seen through the lens of Nadya Kwandibens, being Indigenous in a modern world is a beautiful balance. As a Toronto-based professional photographer and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe of the Northwest Angle #37 First Nation in Ontario, Canada, Kwandibens has spent years capturing the spirit of today’s Indigenous Peoples in a manner that highlights the unique way Native identity intersects with contemporary life.”

Beautiful photographs. See more here.

Always A Member of a Class

“…not that every woman is, in virtue of her sex, as strong, clever, artistic, level-headed, industrious and so forth as any man that can be mentioned; but, that a woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.”

Dorothy Sayers hitting it out of the park.