Politiki Kouzina (A Touch Of Spice) (2003) (Greece)

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Politiki Kouzina (A Touch Of Spice) (2003) (Greece)

Postby hengcs » Thu Jul 07, 2005 5:50 pm

Winner of many awards ...
Coming soon ... !!!

Re: Politiki Kouzina (A Touch Of Spice) (2003) (Greece)

Postby hengcs » Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:48 pm

Director: Tassos Boulmetis
Cast: Georges Corraface, Markos Osse, Tassos Bandis, Ieroklis Michaelidis, Renia Louizidou, Basak Kklkaya

At the 44th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, for the State Cinema Awards, it garnered the
- Best Fiction Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Set Design , Best Music, Best Sound
- Greek Film & Television Technicians Association Awards
- DEWAR'S Audience Awards

The film is segmented into 3 parts, the appetizers, the main course and the dessert. It is rather philosophical, with beautiful cinematography, nice music and some comical moments. With additional viewing, I like the film even more, realizing how meticulous it has crafted a lot of initial scenes to pave the way for the subsequent scenes! In essence, it is a movie that is worth viewing again, even though you may not feel very much initially. You will likely learn something more and like it better

What I like
-- Definitely the philosophical messages, the ironies of life, the cryptic puns

For example, the Greek language (much of which is lost in translation )
e.g., In Greek, oneirevomai (I dream) contains the word revomai (I belch)
* referring to food and stories * they both require something to make them tastier, i.e., the presentation
e.g., Likewise, gastronomer has within it astronomer
pepper is like the sun and cinnamon like Venus (and woman sweet and bitter) and salt like Earth (life requires salt to make it tastier)
e.g., Again in Greek, the word return contains within it the word turn and in turn, the word trofi (i.e., food).
like the journey of mankind, appetizers seduce the senses
e.g., Kolokotronis is not a verb, he is a Greek revolution hero
e.g., Even the Greek title Politiki Kouzina may convey multiple meanings
see the discussion here

For example, there is so much parallel between food and life
e.g., sometimes we have to add the wrong spice to make a point
e.g., when people do not add sauce to their food, they sauce up their conversations
e.g., not only food can be cooked, other things can be cooked too
e.g., people like to hear about things that do not exist (who cares about the salt in the food if it makes it tasty)
* referring to the stars in the sky * they do not exist, we only see the marks they left behind
* later in another scene referring to the cooking to please the future in laws *
the woman claimed, We dont hide anything in our food. (our culture too, our life too)
then the male protagonist replied, If you want to marry, then you will have to learn to hide a few things. (referring to the food, but also hinting at life and marriage)
* in yet another two scenes referring to the Turkish steam bath * in here, souls open like mussels in steam

For example, there is so much about ironies of life
e.g., we were sent off as Greeks, but we were received as Turks
e.g., the male protagonist was afraid of people in uniform yet he kept encountering them the immigration officer, the police, the military, etc and also, he had to learn to face them
e.g., a priest was gotten to rid the male protagonist for being possessed (i.e., too good a cook for his age) and yet, after that, the priest was totally immersed in the male protagonist's gourmet
e.g., relationship without arguments is like weddings without music

For example, there is so much about identity with some thought provoking or cryptic lines
e.g., * referring to the comical behavior of Turkish when asked about directions * * but actually referring to a more grave matter * it sets them apart historically and biologically, it re-orients their identity i.e., who they are, their origins and where they are going
e.g., the arguments were silly, but hiding historical importance (in terms of beliefs, religion, food, etc)
e.g., I did not leave, we were deported
e.g., you should talk about the place you are going, not the place you are leaving
e.g., there are two kinds of travelers, those who look at the map and those who look at the mirror, those who look at the mirror are coming home
e.g., * referring to an X ray * He is perfectly fine, it is an old wound
* later in another scene * Old pains are sneaky

What could be better
-- People who are unclear about the history of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus would not appreciate how well the initial scenes were paved for the subsequent scenes they might not even feel much for the characters
-- Some might feel that the actual deportation was rather mildly depicted
-- Pardon me, but I did not like the comical take on Parkinson
-- Despite the dual interests when he was young, there was no clear explanation as to how he had transformed from a chef when young (intern?! vacation job?!) into a professor in astrophysics when old.

Now, for you to find out
* I wont spoil it for you go watch the film *
... I like the ending very well done * guess what happened *
... also, did the grandfather really want to come all these years
... also, why did the grandson never visit yet, he had traveled the world
... so, was the main protagonist more Greek or more Turkish * look for the tell tale signs * or did it matter at all

I recommend watching the film, even though a lot is lost in translation and on initial viewing, it may not come across as very compelling. But with each additional viewing, one will likely appreciate how meticulously crafted the film is.


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