Feast Your Eyes on “The Dream,” A Culinary Movie Review

af-el-somni-poster-cat1Plays Sunday, May 31
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
Victoria, BC

Brunch: 11 AM
Film: 12:15 PM

El Somni (The Dream) is one of those films that is more of a visual exposition than a by-the-book style documentary about brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca. After taking home the first place award in the 50 Best Restaurants in the World ceremony of 2013, just what can they do next is explored in this film. These siblings desire to create a new artistic culinary movement to engage the five senses — if not six to create a spiritual awakening — of a dinner can make or break their established careers. They’re reknowned chefs from El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.

Perhaps art nouveau has entered the kitchen and dining room. In what director Franc Aleu crafted is a look into the process of how the Roca brothers created each of their twelve pieces of culinary excellence. While they cite inspiration from opera, what’s presented feels more thematic to what the signs from the zodiac represent. The chefs sought to create a balance of flavours (Libra) in the dishes being made and all the elements are represented. When watching this film, an Age of Aquarius can potentially be experienced because of the food’s presentation. The multimedia dome that hosted this unique dining experience had projections of pristine geographic locations and alien worlds onto the walls and dining table to complement the food.

The visual imagery that patrons to this special dinner experienced is exotic and the cinematography by Pau Monras captured of these people is intimate. To see the gastronomic delights up close can only get only two or three of the audience’s five senses engaged. The added bits of computer graphics on top of this film, if it was meant to simulate holograms for the diners to see, felt more like a distraction. The behind the scenes moments about the culture and the people intimate with this style of cuisine being made was far more engaging to study since it explains what the brothers were after.

If only holographs can be projected in 3D at this location, in addition to added eye-popping moments in the movie, then that’d truly be a new marvel to wonder. One question is left lingering: is what the brothers created a permanent artistic display or is all that’s made just a one-off event? If it was the former, Seattle‘s own Experience Music Project Museum might get jealous.

As one of the seven features to be offered at Victoria Film Festival’s Feast: Food & Film program, the culinary pairings prior to this screening certainly demonstrates that the chefs from the Oak Bay Beach Hotel are up to the challenge of emulating the haute cuisine experiences of what the film, El Somni, offers. Some films sound tastier than others, but as for amping this festival a notch, this year promises to sweeten the gastronomic tooth more than this event’s previous incarnation, back when it was known as the Foodie Film Festival. This year’s event is certainly going to be a feast to the senses!



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