Previously at the ICA - Films
14 Dec 2012 – 3 Jan 2013
In the three greatest films featuring food – The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Babette's Feast and Blow-Out – Stéphane Audran has the distinction of starring in the first two. In Babette's Feast she plays a 19th-century political refugee and former Parisian chef who finds shelter with two sisters (Bodil Kjer and Birgitte Federspiel) whose devotion to their preacher father and his Protestant sect on the remote Jutland coast has denied them romance or any ambitions beyond pious servitude. Babette eventually gives the elderly spinsters a chance to live the lives that have so far eluded them, the catalyst being the lavish meal she insists on preparing following their father’s death. Funny, poignant and shot in a crisp yet fluid style, Axel’s film – and Audran’s performance in particular – still has considerable impact 25 years after its release.
Dir. Gabriel Axel, 1987, Denmark, 103 mins. Danish, Swedish and French with English subtitles.