Paper on the Roles Food Can Take in Literature and Films

Paper on the Roles Food Can Take in Literature and Films

From the materials we discussed in class, I got a impression of the roles food can take in literature and films. Unlike other objects that also can be carriers of character’s thought, food brings culture and resonance in thought to the process. The desire to delicious things is shared among all mankind. So food is an easy medium to communicate to audience in film and literature. Among all the genres we have looked at, documentary and melodrama are the ones I think particularly good for advocating stances on.

Each genre has its own advantage in expressing the artist’s thought. Documentary is particularly good at its articulation. Documentary film focus on the reality and the director’s point of interest. There is no need to elaborate unrelated elements like characters, story, etc. So if the director wants to advocate a stand on food, he can use the whole movie to do so. There are many elements can be used to help this expression in documentary film. Interview is a great way to get perspective from someone involved in an event, like the disaster of minamata. In The Cove we also see interview of experts to give opinion as a observer. In Minamata the Victims and Their World, the director used a lot of scene recording daily life of the victims. It is a direct and effective way to let audiences feel the subject by themselves. Because showing the truth and opinion is the main purpose of documentary. So unlike other film genres the director has the time to take long shot on reality. It also increase the credibility of the subject. The Cove also added animation to present with narrator. It is effective on abstract sections that real-world scene cannot present. Another commonly used technique is to put statistics in documentary film. It makes the film more persuasive. With these means, the director can comfortably make his stance in a documentary film. Food is a particularly good subject because in documentary we can analyze it in detail. Long shot can give audience impression of how the food is. Interview with those who tried the food is effective in getting more perspective to a controversial food, like dolphin meat. Close record of everyday life of people who depend on a food can help audience understand the effect of the food to those people’s life comprehensively. These are all advantages of documentary film on food that other genres cannot surpass.

Melodrama is also good to present opinion of food. In melodrama the author construct a story. So it does not have to obey the truth. Even characters can be exaggerated. So the author can force every element in the work towards his thought. It is great to appeal strong emotions. And once it does so, the author successfully express his stand to the reader. It is effective to advocate stance on food because the description of food can invoke strong desire in readers. And because food is usually good medium of emotion, the characters can have exaggerated emotion and behavior on food in a melodrama. For example in The Gourmet Club, the author spent huge effort to describe the food and character’s love of food. It can get the reader into its world to share the feeling of characters in book and of the author. In this way the reader will not care about the authentication of the depiction but focus on the subjective communication. So melodrama is a great genre to expression emotional stance on food.

Other genres also have their advantage in advocating views on food. Forklore is good at bringing familiar materials in a culture to invoke memory and agreement in audiences. Food is always a popular topic in legends so it integral nicely with this genre. Diary literature is great for expressing subjective thought. It is especially effective on food as the opinion on food is usually subjective. I-fiction can develop a rich and expressive character with detailed depiction as the author is writing experienced events. Food is often involved in the experience as a strong medium of emotion. Each genre has a unique perspective on advocating thoughts on food. No matter what form and what medium the artist use, the most valuable thing is the subject he present.