Kino geht durch den Magen : eine Skizze zum Thema Essen im Film

Wenn man über die Verarbeitung des Themas Essen in verschiedenen Erzählformen nachdenkt, stößt man unweigerlich auf die Darstellung des Essens im Kino. Schon allein kraft seiner fotografischen Bewegungsdarstellung ist der Film in der Lage den Vorgang des Essens und alle dazu gehörigen Aspekte – von der Essenszubereitung bis zum sozialen Umfeld verschiedener Essrituale – darzustellen und in eine Erzählung einzubinden. Dabei reicht das Spektrum der filmischen Essensdarstellung von der ekstatischen Ästhetisierung bis zum animalischen Gesuhle, von höchster kultureller Gesellschaftsentwicklung bis zu den Abgründen menschlicher Triebe.

Throughout cinema history, eating has been a common motif in film. In comparison to other means of narrative, film has the advantage of photographic representation in motion. This means that in cinematic aesthetics, the presentation of food, cooking and eating can directly set a mood (and everything from mouth watering to disgusting is possible) in which the characters of the story can be placed. In this context, the four examples given here L’Aile ou la Cuisse (1976, Claude Zidi), The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover (1989, Peter Greenaway), Yin Shi Nan Nu (1994, Ang Lee) and Soylent Green (1973, Richard Fleischer)) demonstrate that the motif of eating is always connected to the characterisations of the protagonists and their relationships to one another. Furthermore, broader social surroundings can be shown and commented on in relation to the motif of eating. Using these possibilities, Zidi creates a slapstick-like comedy around institutionalised French restaurants and restaurant critics, Greenaway ventures to reveal the decadence of his protagonists by combining the themes food and sex in an over-stylised British crime movie, Ang shows the importance of the philosophical attitude towards food and drink in Taiwanese everyday life and Fleischer reflects on a dictatorship of the food industry in his dystopian science-fiction film set in the USA. But whatever the plot or genre, in the cinema we can relate to the motif of eating through the mode of representation in film images combined with our own experiences with eating and drinking as foundations of human life and society.

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