Saturday, October 13, 7:00pm
Filmmaker: Gabriel Axel
1987, Denmark, Danish/Swedish/French, 103 min.
Speakers: Introduction by Laurie Woolever (official Anthony Bourdain biographer); Interview with Woolever and cinematographer Todd Liebler by Sara Brito after the film.
In a late 19th-century Danish village on the remote western coast of Jutland, a young woman appears at the door of two elderly spinsters, bearing a letter from one of their former lovers. The letter says only that the young woman, Babette, is a Parisian refugee from the Franco-Prussian War, and recommends her as a housekeeper. The sisters cannot afford a servant, so she offers her labor for free. For the next 14 years, Babette cooks for the sisters, producing meals far superior to the bland fare proscribed by the village’s austere Lutheran sect (founded by the sisters’ now-dead father). One day, she is informed that she has won a Paris lottery of 10,000 francs. She decides to use the lottery winnings to prepare a “real French dinner” for the sisters and their small congregation, though she hides the true (astronomical) cost of the dinner. The sensual gratification of the meal goes against the asceticism of the congregation, but the dinner becomes a transformative experience.
Winner of the 1987 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Preceded by a filmed introduction by Anthony Bourdain for the TCM Food in Movies Spotlight.
Preceding shorts: Parthenopae Cornucopiam
$20 per person
Ticket includes the Homage to Anthony Bourdain event.