Series looks to draw fans of film and foodTweet
A Binghamton University professor is helping to connect the campus and community by coordinating a semester-long “Film and Food Series.”
“There are so many people who do things to make a bridge between the campus and the town. There are so many activities,” said Ingeborg Majer-O’Sickey, an associate professor of German and Russian studies and women’s studies. “Take, for example, the clean-up action after the storm last summer. Faculty, students and townspeople, working side by side. That was so impressive! So I thought ‘What can I do?’
“There is a connection between eating and film viewing,” she said. “It’s a profound pleasure that we seek. Combining the two seems so logical to me.”
The series will feature four food-themed films, one per month through May, that will be shown at the Art Mission and Theater in Binghamton. Before the film begins, theater-goers will be able to eat appetizers and other samples from a local restaurant and mingle with other film and food fans. After about 45 minutes, Majer-O’Sickey will introduce the film, with optional discussion at the conclusion.
“People won’t be getting a grade for this,” she said with a laugh when describing the optional discussion.
Majer-O’Sickey, who specializes in European and global cinema and film theory, began planning the series last summer. She approached Sean Massey, a research associate professor of women’s studies who co-owns Tranquil Bar/Bistro in Binghamton. Massey was enthusiastic right away and said Tranquil would be part of the series and introduced Majer-O’Sickey to the Art Mission and Theater team. It took Majer-O’Sickey four months to finalize the schedule with four films and four restaurants.
“Though there are so many great food films, I didn’t want to do two per month,” she said. “That would be overfeeding it.”
The schedule is:
• Feb. 16: “Ratatouille,” (2007, 111 min.) Food courtesy of Lost Dog.
• March 8: “Soul Kitchen,” (2009, 99 min.) Food courtesy of The Turkish Restaurant.
• April 12: “Big Night” (1996, 107 min.) Food courtesy of Tranquil.
• May 3: “Like Water for Chocolate,” (1992, 105 min.) Food courtesy of Nezuntos.
“Even people who have seen these movies before will want to see them again, like ‘Ratatouille,’” Majer-O’Sickey said. “I’ve seen it several times and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. That’s one way to define a classic.”
All proceeds will go to Art Mission and Theatre, Majer-O’Sickey said, while the restaurants will receive a month of free ads at the theater and the opportunity to gain new customers.
Majer-O’Sickey hopes to continue to series in the fall, as she said she had to leave out “Babette’s Feast” and “Dinner Rush” from the spring schedule. She also hopes that audience members will gain “a sense of community” from the Film and Food Series.
“We’re so lucky to have an independent movie theater here in Binghamton,” she said. “And this series will get more students and faculty from Binghamton University together with people from town. We will be sitting together and eating together. We’re all people who enjoy the same things – film and food. It makes you feel like you are part of a culture that you don’t get at (other places). … Something vibrant is happening in Binghamton.”