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.More »
"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:
"Wine From Here": First public screening
W. Blake Gray "Wine From Here" director Martin Carel
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."More »
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.More »
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.More »
Watch What You Eat, Pray, Love
Where: Oddball Film and Video, 275 Capp (at 18th St.), 558-8112
When: Sat., Mar. 26, 8:30 p.m.
The rundown: After dinner tomorrow night, Oddball Film and Video invites you to a visual feast. Mining deep in the archives, conscience-driven filmmaker Soumyaa Kapil Behrens has hand-chosen an eclectic lineup of food-related commercials, cartoons, and other rarely viewed celluloid flotsam. Highlights include Dr. Seuss's legendary story of an elephant hatching an egg; a surreal W.C. Fields-as-starving-prospector sketch; a 1980s instructional film using a job-hunting chicken to explain the free market; and a lyrical study of the sweet potato harvest in West New Guinea.
RSVP to 558-8117 or email@example.com
Michael Recchiuti has signed on as an added attraction for a Saturday screening of Kings of Pastry, a documentary charting the pressures of competing in a prestigious competition called the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (M.O.F.). The San Francisco chocolatier, a formally trained and (we can confirm) skilled pastry chef, will conduct a post-screening question-and-answer session. Some of Recchiuti's chef friends are featured in the film, and he should know what it's like to prepare for a prestigious competition like the M.O.F. And since it would just be cruel if he didn't, Recchiuti promises to come armed with plenty of chocolate samples.
Tamara Palmer The birth of Recchiuti's signature burnt caramel truffles.
Kings of Pastry Screening with Michael Recchiuti Q&A
When: Sat., Dec. 11, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa (at 38th Ave.), 221-8184
We've become blasé about the endless string of set-pieces chefs build for shows like Food Network Challenge. Fondant-wrapped Disney-themed fright cakes, cupcake towers inspired by Manolo Blahnik heels, sugar glass-molded landscapes with wonky Venetian masks and chocolate fountains that never gush the way they should: Who wouldn't want to see them crash on the teetery climactic journey from work surface to judging table?
Turns out America's NASCAR-tacky pastry mashups have a French ancestor, the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (M.O.F.), sometimes called the Nobel Prize of pastry. A documentary, Kings of Pastry, about three finalists out of 16 in the M.O.F. is finally making its way to San Francisco (it opens Nov. 17 at the Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa, at 37th Ave.). The filmmakers: D.A. Pennebaker and his wife, Chris Hegedus.
Of course, Pennebaker (Dont Look Back, Monterey Pop; and with Hegedus, The War Room) is one of the daddies of cinéma vérité, and Kings of Pastry slices open the testosterone-heavy milieu of France's traditionally male pâtissier corps.More »
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