A Feast for the Eyes


We’ve mentioned Matt Zoller Seitz’s video essays here before, so there’s no reason not to mention them here again. His latest is entitled Feast and it’s devoted to the preparation of food on film. It can be found in both annotated and non-annotated versions at Moving Image Source.

Though we’re late to the table with this for U.S. Thanksgiving, it’s well-timed for the fast approaching end of year Holiday season. It’s a great tease of the taste buds with scenes from Big Night, Eat Drink Man Woman and Goodfellas that will not only make you hungry, but will make you want to revist each of those films immediately. About the amazing central dish of timpano created by the brothers in the aforementioned Big Night, Seitz has this to say:


We all wanted to be in that movie, in that restaurant, sitting at the brothers’ table as honored guests, knife and fork at the ready. Dear Lord, that food looked good.

Images of food—and the preparation of food—invariably have that effect on people. They unite viewers who might otherwise have nothing in common; they plug directly into the primal craving for transitory pleasure, the desire not just to admire and then consume inventively prepared food, but also to serve (and be served by) people who love us.

“Feast” is a tribute to such images.


Tucked under the seat is the non-annotated version for all your salivation needs…



I particularly like the extended use of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into The Fire” (used in Scorsese’s Goodfellas) during one of the sections.

Thanks to Jim Emerson at Scanners for the pointer.

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Kurt Halfyard

Big Night is one of my favourites (delicious Tony Shaloub performance!) and the film has a wicked soundtrack to boot. Don't go into than one hungry though!

Kurt Halfyard

I certainly would bet many people have tried to make that after seeing this film. A very, very, very fitting climax to a foodie film!

Jandy Hardesty

I'm afraid to watch that right now – lunch in ten minutes! But I love Matt's video essays (and his print essays, for that matter). I need to keep up with them better, so thanks for the reminder.