We Dare You to Watch This Tampopo Clip Without Getting Hungry for Ramen

Categories: Food on Film

In preparation for this week's review on the Mission's new Ramen Izakaya Goku, I rewatched parts of Tampopo, the classic Japanese "ramen Western" that is one of strangest and most wonderful food movies out there. I can't watch this scene, one of my favorites, in which a ramen expert schools a young buck on the proper way to eat a bowl, without becoming possessed with a desire to eat ramen immediately. Enjoy after the jump.

See also: Ramen Izakaya Goku: Serving Up Perfectly Good Ramen Near 16th Street BART
Bay Area Ramen: Sampling Local Chefs' New Styles
Butter Ramen Is a Real Thing: A Japan Center Find

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Learn Your Coffee's Origin Story With The Way Back to Yarasquin, Screening in Oakland on Wednesday

Last year, filmmaker Sarah Gerber Kickstarted her way into making The Way Back to Yarasquin, a documentary that follows Mayra Orellana-Powell's journey from the States back to her hometown in Saint Elena, Honduras, alongside a few Bay Area coffee pros in search of great coffee. Orellana-Powell's work lies partly in connecting the coffee producers in her hometown to the likes of Blue Bottle, and polishing the quality and reputation of coffee from Saint Elena. The film provides a clear look into the coffee supply chain and a glimpse into how coffee lands in our cups every morning. This Wednesday, you can see it all for free.

See also: What to Expect at Linea Caffe, the New Andrew Barnett/Anthony Myint Project Opening this Week
Equator's New Spot Offers Good Coffee and a Quick Getaway
Saint Frank: Bringing the Story of Coffee to Russian Hill

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Here's the Trailer for OMG GMO, a New Documentary

A new documentary is coming out September 13 exploring the dangers of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, a hot topic in the food world today. GMO OMG looks to combine the hip, stylized feel of Food Inc. with the antics of Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock, judging by the trailer, in which filmmaker Jeremy Seifert tries to order a GMO-free meal from McDonald's, interviews people on Venice Beach about what GMO means, and tries unsuccessfully to get an interview with Monsanto by walking into their headquarters. Could this be the next Super Size Me? We'll see.

See also: All You Need to Know About GMOs: The Rap Video
Monsanto Protection Act: What All The Fuss Is About
New Study Shows Voter Support for Genetically Modified Food Labeling in California

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SOMM Director Jason Wise on Getting Inside the Mind of a Sommelier

Categories: Food on Film, Wine

Filmmaker Jason Wise on set of SOMM, in theaters today.
In the new documentary SOMM, which opens today, four extremely dedicated wine guys strive to join the prestigious and almost preposterously selective Court of Master Sommeliers. Following our review, we chatted with filmmaker Jason Wise to find out all the dirt behind what seems to be the hardest test in the world.

One gets the impression from watching SOMM that you already knew your way around a tasting room. Before going into this, was wine a passion of yours?

You know, I'm glad you thought that. Basically I tended bar at a nice restaurant. I absolutely loved wine, but I didn't really know it. Only now can I truly appreciate what was then my lack of knowledge. But yeah, my background mostly was selling wine in a nice restaurant, and sometimes drinking it until 5 a.m. in a friend's garage. The one thing I'm happiest about after making this film is that I kept that love. Sometimes people learn more and become very picky. I really haven't changed. I still love all kinds of wine. I've just learned how much more there is that I can love.

See also: "Somm": The Toughest Test You Never Heard Of

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi Plays Sad and Quirky with the Japanese Work Ethic

Categories: Food on Film
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is currently playing at 1 Embarcadero Center. ​

Jiro Ono, the focus of the new film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, is exceptionally singular. For 40 years now, the 85-year old, three-Michelin-Star chef has been crafting immaculate sushi in a ten-seat restaurant on the second floor of a bustling Tokyo subway station. To sup at Sukiyabashi Jiro, and savor the 20-piece tasting menu of sushi designed by the master each day, customers must pay 30,000 yen (368 dollars) and make reservations a month in advance.

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Farmageddon Cries For Small Farms and Raw Milk

Categories: Food on Film

The US government is at war with small farmers who try to raise animals for meat and milk in sustainable ways. Regulations are written for -- and often by -- agribusiness. And the situation has actually gotten worse under President Obama, with gun-toting agents raiding family farms to confiscate milk.

These are some of the key points of "Farmageddon," a documentary made by first-time filmmaker Kristin Canty, that is playing this week at the Roxie Theater.

I couldn't agree more with Canty's points. She decided to make the film because of the difficulty of buying raw milk, which the government thinks is dangerous, famously raiding a SoCal collective earlier this summer.

The film is fresh enough that it includes powerful security-camera footage from that raid of agents covering each other, handguns held high and in front of them, as they walk through a grocery store in the early morning hours, looking for the dangerous milk dealers -- who according to the film have not yet been charged with any crime.

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"Farmageddon" Film Opens Friday at Roxie Theater

Categories: Food on Film

"Farmageddon," a film about the US government's war on raw milk, opens Friday at the Roxie, where it's scheduled to play through Sept. 29.

The producers have scheduled a variety of events around the film, notably panel discussions on Friday night and both evening showings on Saturday. A full list of events is here.

Unfortunately the Roxie is simultaneously running the Irish Film Festival, so Farmageddon has been pushed to the Little Roxie, and the first showing is already sold out. You can buy advance tickets for other showings here.

I'm very interested in this issue but haven't seen the film, so here I'll turn over the mic keyboard to Village Voice Media film critic Ernest Hardy:

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Natural Wine Movie Comes with Real Wine

Categories: Food on Film

W. Blake Gray
"Wine From Here" director Martin Carel
"Wine From Here": First public screening
Where: Victoria Theatre
When: Thursday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m.
Cost: $15, includes wine AND there's a discount for SFoodie readers (see below)

"Natural wine" is one of the most interesting, ill-defined movements in the food world. A software creator from Quebec came to California to make a documentary about it, and the film's first public screening is Thursday.

Martin Carel won't call the showing of his film "Wine From Here" a premier because film festivals might want to use that title. So put it this way: nobody has seen it yet. And there's a great bonus: six of the winemakers he interviews will be at the screening, and will pour their wines later at Heart wine bar, with $5 worth of wine included in the film ticket price.

The six winemakers scheduled to attend are:

Michael Dashe, Dashe Cellars
Kevin Kelley, Natural Process Alliance
Steve Edmunds, Edmunds St. John
Tony Coturri, Coturri Winery
Darek Trowbridge, Old World Winery
Gideon Beinstock, Clos Saron
Hank Beckmeyer, La Clarine Farm

So what exactly is "natural wine?" Carel says the best definition he's heard is this: "It's a traditional view of a wine where wine is an expression of terroir and a grape variety with minimal intervention from a winemaker."

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Pilot for PBS-Bound Food Forward to Air at the Sonoma Film Fest

Robert Lemon's ¿Tacos or Tacos? isn't the only food-filled short slated to debut at this week's Sonoma International Film Festival. Also premiering this Thursday: The 32-minute pilot for Food Forward, which emphasizes positive changes swirling around America's soul-sucking food system.

Last July, Greg Roden ― Food Forward's co-creator, producer, and director ― was in mid-scrabble, trying to raise enough cash to finish the pilot. He and his partners did, and in January they showed it to KQED's 10-person new-programming committee. They loved it. Now, Roden tells SFoodie, KQED wants a dozen episodes to air and distribute nationally. All Roden and his partners need to do: Raise even more cash, which, thanks to a growing list of corporate sponsors that includes Annie's Homegrown, Lagunitas Brewing Co., and Purity Organic, is looking more and more likely.

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¿Tacos or Tacos?: Food-Truck Short Debuts at Next Week's Sonoma Film Fest

San Francisco's interest in the food truck rang louder last year than the roar of a Husky generator. But are we in danger of becoming hipster douchebags, Yelping our enthusiasm for upscaled street food while the form's inventors ― the Latino heirs of taco-truck tradition ― wither in relative obscurity?

That's one of the questions raised by the short film by Robert Lemon, ¿Tacos or Tacos?, as it compares hipster food trucks with old-school loncheras in Austin, Texas. We published a YouTube link to the film last December after reading about it on the California Taco Trucks website. Now, Lemon's short is making its way through the film festival circuit, starting with its world theatrical premiere at the Sonoma International Film Festival, April 6-10 in downtown Sonoma.

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