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Entries from Cinecultist tagged with 'Ratatouille'

Vacation Matinees With a Culinary Rat


The Cinecultist is on vacation this week in Northern California spending the holidays with the fam but if you're in the New York area and looking for some heartwarming cinema head to Queens. The Museum of the Moving Image will be showing vacation week matinées of Ratatouille, one of Cinecultist's favorite flicks of the year, every day at 1:30 pm. They are also organizing post-screening workshops for children to teach them the fundamentals of animation. So if you know any budding Brad Birds, age 6 and up, bring them along.

Tickets for the museum and the screenings cost $10.00 for adults; $7.50 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $5.00 for children ages 5-18. Children under 5 and Museum members are admitted free. 35 Avenue at 36 Street in Astoria. Photo courtesy The Walt Disney Company.

Cinecultist Is...

Not dead. Promise. While we know it's one of the cardinal sins of blogging to let said blogging diminish to such a meager frequency it only consists of brief check in posts, that's what has happened to CC.

In lieu of lame apologies, some bullet points of what's been tickling our fancy lately:

* We bought a copy of the new translation of War and Peace put out by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky which the Times and the New York Review of Books have been raving about. Cinecultist promised our friend Adriane we'd set up a schedule of reading so we could discuss it, but apparently we'll not be able to beat the Bill Keller reading pace. Damn dude, you devoured 1273 pages (including summaries and appendixes) in a week, while also running the NYT? Impressive.

* Sometimes for giggles, Cinecultist tries to horrify the salespeople at Kim's on Saint Marks' with our DVD purchases. Unfortunately they're a pretty jaded bunch, but we thought we'd at least get an eyebrow raise when CC put Ratatouille and the Special Collector's Edition of Flashdance on the counter last Saturday. No dice. Both DVDs come with some nice extra features though. On Ratatouille, which is just as charming as it was in the theaters, you can enjoy a hilarious short about the history of rats as narrated by Remy and Emile. Flashdance also includes an extra disc of six classic toe-tapping, nose-blowing audio tracks. In fact as we type right now, CC is bopping along to "What a Feeling." Don't be surprised to see us decked out in leg warmers and t-shirts with the neck cut out shortly.

* If you aren't enjoying Gossip Girl on The CW already, Cinecultist suggests adding it to the DVR sched. It's surprisingly geeky and fun. Case in point, last week when the young Dan (Penn Badgley) wanted some tips when wooing experienced Serena (Blake Lively) he rented I Am Curious Yellow! References to kinky, experimental Swedish cinema from the '60s in a teen-sploitation soap? Awesome.

Anyone Can Cook, Even a Rat Named Remy


On Saturday evening, Cinecultist caught a sneak preview screening of the new Pixar movie Ratatouille at the Union Square theater and was completely charmed by Brad Bird's newest flick. Bird and his team are geniuses. Seriously. Movie making magicians. With references to The Secret of Nimh, Willard and Rizzo the Rat's restaurant management technique in The Muppets Take Manhattan, the equal parts smart and sweet story was enough to make even this hardened New Yorker gaga for talking rodents. Oh, and the answer to the question everyone has asked regarding the Pixar track record: Ratatouille is leagues better than their last film Cars, even nearing the brilliance of The Incredibles.

The movie doesn't hit theaters for two more weeks (on June 29) but in the meantime whet your whistle with an extended clip from the official site as Remy the rat enters the restaurant kitchen for the first time to repair a botched soup. In this clip you can see two elements that we really loved in the movie. The way that it uses the character of Remy to evoke the magic of good cooking and the beauty of good eating. The choreographed moves of this tiny rat creating food in a people-sized kitchen in this scene looks almost like dancing. Also, the way the animators use facial expression and gesture throughout the movie as the humans and the animals try to communicate is really delightful. Just a tiny shrug from a modest cooking rat tells you so much about his character. Once again Bird et al. have created a fully formed, three dimensional animated universe and even after the credits began to roll Cinecultist didn't want to leave.