Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a delightful documentary about Jiro Ono, the 86-year-old owner of a triple-Michelin starred 10-seater sushi bar, which is tucked into a corner of an underground station in the fashionable Ginza district of Tokyo. Jiro is one of the most famous chefs in Japan. His painstakingly crafted morsels of fish and rice glisten like wet jewels, as sensual as anything served up in other famous foodie films such as Babette’s Feast (1987) or Chocolat (2000). Albeit perfection has a price, as a dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro costs in the region of €250 and at least a three-month wait for a seat. We see Jiro’s 50‑year-old eldest son and heir-in-waiting, Yoshikazu, selecting the very best seafood at dawn from the tanks of Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market whilst the apprentice chefs are diligently eviscerating eels and massaging octopi in the kitchen. A Japanese food critic sheds further light on the promotion structure: ‘After about 10 years, he lets you cook the eggs.’ Complete foodie porn.
The Model Cinema is screening a film, as part of the SÓ Sligo Food Festival in May; the new French release,You Will be My Son, which is set in the beautiful wine country of Saint Émilion and acutely portrays the French wine growing world in this classic, complex and gripping human drama.
Niels Arestrup (A Prophet) plays distinguished vintner Paul de Marseul, reaching the end of his career and concerned about his successor, his right hand man who is been diagnosed with cancer, whilst he feels he can’t leave his precious vineyard in the hands of his reserved son, Martin (Lorant Deutsch), who he bullies mercilessly.
The director, Gilles Legrand decided to research this film by combining his two favourite things, cinema and wine. The result was You Will be My Son and Legrand spent almost a year driving round French vineyards, of Burgundy and Bordeaux – talking and tasting. Nice job if you can get it.
Panoramic shots sweep along the long rows of vines with their fruit ripening in the summer sun, and the camera hovers around the ancient buildings of the Clos Fourtet Estate, formerly part of a military fort used to defend the nearby town of Saint Émilion. Ultimately, though, the piece is all about the wine. Legrand is unashamed in his own passion, telling a French interviewer: ‘I love the vines … the scheduling and constraint that is required to plant them … I also love the cellars, [the] alignments of barrels and bottles, silent underground, the smells, materials, colours, light … It is simple, the vine and the wine awaken the senses!’
‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ screens 17 & 18 Apr at 8pm. 21 Apr at 3pm ‘You Will Be My Son’ screens 01 & 02 May at 8pm. 05 May at 3pm; with a sepcial Bealtaine screening on 02 May at 1pm