I Am Not Your Negro
In the Crosswind
Little Men
Austerlitz
Auf einmal
Mushrooms and Black Holes

Now, Forager: A Film About Love & Fungi (Slow Criticism)

United States, 2012 | Jason Cortlund, Julia Halperin
Dominik Kamalzadeh checked in from Vienna to see the world premiere of the American feature Now, Forager: A Film About Love & Fungi. Jason Cortlund's and Julia Halperin's feature focuses on a married couple making their living by gathering mushrooms in the woods and selling those to local restaurants and food suppliers.

I take it as a good sign that writing about a film being streamed on a website is still a rather tricky task. It seems like a blissful promise — we don't have to travel anymore and instead just follow a link. Then, however, we encounter strange digital black holes (which swallow up codes) or even worse, during watching, we suddenly lose track and get caught in a loop that brings us back to the beginning (without the possibility to jump forward again).

Now, Forager is not a revision of Irvin Rapper's melodrama with Bette Davis and Paul Heinreid from 1942, but it does borrow the same line of Walt Whitman's poem ('Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find') to contextualize it in the world of gourmets. A film about Love & Fungi, goes the subtitle of Jason Cortlund's and Julia Halperin's feature, which centers on a married couple making their living by gathering for mushrooms in the woods and selling those to local restaurants and food suppliers.

The film is a worthwhile subject when writing about distances and availabilities, since food culture has always been a matter of internationalisation. Lucien (played by Cortlund himself) and Regina (Tiffany Esteb), the two protagonists of Basque origin, hold their European heritage high, belonging to a group of food lovers who go back to the essentials — they favor simple recipes like the ones their grandparents created, and savor fresh, local and organic ingredients. Their philosophy is a rather conservative (although healthy) one, a sort of slow-food-stance turning away from industrial food and the ravages of globalization — ironically this is a phenomenon one finds in many western countries. The film though is structured around a crisis of the couple: Their precarious financial status leads them to oppositional answers how to go on with their lives.

Lucien, being the more stubborn one in this match, leaves on a forager's journey to an area around Washington DC, only to get robbed in the woods by two straying Russians — it's one of the rather odd jokes of Cortlund and Halperin, who tend to satirize the minor parts of their films in order to make them representational for a certain lack of culture. Lucien's frustrating experience as a short-term catering-chef for a politician's wife gives the film the chance to mock the ignorance of snobby upper-class-taste. An analogous sequence shows Regina becoming a chef in a provincial restaurant in Rhode Island, where she suffers similarly as nobody appreciates her rewriting of the old-school-menu.

Interestingly enough Now, Forager doesn't advocate any simple reconciliation. Although taking side for the lonesome Julien, who is not willing to fit into society, the slowly paced film doesn't idolize him. Like its Mushroom-hunting protagonist Cortlund and Halperin try to stick to a certain local tradition of storytelling, a lyrical form of American filmmaking, that stays connected to its cultural habitat.

Dominik Kamalzadeh



top
Now, Forager: A Film About Love & Fungi (Slow Criticism)

Februari 2012 #340

Slow Criticism 2012

Titelindex


ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1&


N

N — The Madness of Reason
N'OUBLIE PAS QUE TU VAS MOURIR
NA PUTU
NAAR DE KLOTE!
NACHMITTAG
NACHO LIBRE
NACHTRIT
NACHTVLINDER
NADIE CONOCE A NADIE
NADINE
NAISSANCE DES PIEUVRES
NAKED
THE NAKED CITY
NAKED GUN 33 1/3
NAKED IN NEW YORK
THE NAKED PREY
THE NAMESAKE
LA NANA
Nannerl, la soeur de Mozart
THE NANNY DIARIES
NANNY MCPHEE
NANNY MCPHEE AND THE BIG BANG
NAPOLEON
Napoléon
NAQOYQATSI
NARC
NATHALIE
National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman over)
NATIONAL SECURITY
NATIONAL TREASURE
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS
THE NATIVITY STORY
NATURAL BORN KILLERS
Nature
DE NATUURLIJKE RUIMTE
The Navigator
THE NAVIGATORS
NE LE DIS À PERSONNE (TELL NO ONE)
Ne me quitte pas
NEAK SRE
Nebraska
NED KELLY
NEDS
Need for Speed
NEEDFUL THINGS
THE NEGOTIATOR
LA NEGRA ANGUSTIAS
Les neiges du Kilimandjaro
Neighbouring Sounds
NEKO-MIMI
NELL
NELLY ET MR. ARNAUD
Nelsons No. 5
NEMMENO IL DESTINO
Nena
NÉNETTE ET BONI
Neon Bull
The Neon Demon
NEROLIO (Aurelio Grimaldi over)
Neruda
Nerve
THE NET
THE NETHER-HORROR COLLECTION
NETTOYAGE À SEC
Never a Dull Moment
NEVER BEEN KISSED
NEVER LET ME GO
NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS
THE NEW DAUGHTER
THE NEW GUY
NEW IN TOWN
NEW JERSEY DRIVE
New Kids Nitro
NEW KIDS: TURBO!
NEW MOON: THE TWILIGHT SAGA
NEW POLICE STORY
NEW ROSE HOTEL
THE NEW SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
THE NEW WORLD
New Year's Eve
NEW YORK MINUTE
NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU
NEW YORK, IMAGES FROM THE EDGE
The Newsroom
THE NEWTON BOYS
NEXT
THE NEXT BEST THING
Next Goal Wins
NEXT STOP WONDERLAND
THE NEXT THREE DAYS
Next to Her
The Nice Guys
Nick
NICK OF TIME
NID DE GUÊPES/THE NEST
NIET ZONDER JOU
DE NIETSNUT
DE NIEUWE AVONTUREN VAN HET MOLLETJE
Nieuwe helden
DE NIEUWE MOEDER
Nieuwe tieten
De nieuwe wildernis
NIGHT AND THE CITY
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN
Night at the Museum: Secret Of The Tomb
A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY
The Night Before
NIGHT FALLS ON MANHATTAN
NIGHT MAIL
Night Moves
Night of 1000 Hours
THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER
NIGHT TRAIN (Previously Unreleased)
Night Train to Lisbon
NIGHT WATCH (NOCHNOI DOZOR)
THE NIGHT WE NEVER MET
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE
NIGHTWATCH
NIGHTWATCHING
Nijntje de film
Niko 2: Familiezaken
NIKO EN DE VLIEGENDE BRIGADE
NIL BY MOUTH
NIMA TEMBA SHERPA
Nina
LA NIÑA SANTA
NINA TAKES A LOVER
NINE
NINE MONTHS
NINE QUEENS (NUEVE REINAS)
NINJA ASSASSIN
Ninja Turtles
Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
NINOTCHKA
THE NINTH GATE
NIRGENDWO IN AFRIKA
NIXON
NO
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
No Escape
NO ET MOI
NO GOOD DEED
NO MAN'S LAND
NO MORE HEROES-DVD BOX
NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS
NO RESERVATIONS
NO STRINGS ATTACHED
NO TRAINS NO PLANES
NO WAY HOME
Noah
De Nobelprijswinnaar
NOBODY KNOWS
NOBODY'S FOOL
Noces (Stephan Streker over)
LA NOCHE DE LOS GIRASOLES
Una noche sin luna (Previously Unreleased)
Nocturnal Animals
NÓI ALBINÓI
Noi credevamo
Noma — My Perfect Storm
NOMAD
NÖMADAK TX
Nono, het zigzagkind
De noodkreet in de fles
NOORD-KOREA, EEN DAG UIT HET LEVEN
NOOSE
NORBIT
NORD
Nordvest (Slow Criticism)
NORDWAND
NORMAAL — IK KOM ALTIED WEER TERUG
NORMAL LIFE
NORMAN JEAN AND MARILYN
NORTH
NORTH BY NORTHWEST
NORTH COUNTRY
NORTHFORK
Northwest
NORWEGIAN WOOD
NOSFERATU
LA NOSTRA VITA
NOSTRADAMUS
I nostri ragazzi (Het Diner)
NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE
NOT ONE LESS (YI GE DOU BU NENG SHAO)
NOTEBOEK
THE NOTEBOOK
De Notenkraak
NOTES ON A SCANDAL
NOTHING PERSONAL
NOTHING TO LOSE
Notre jour viendra
Notre paradis
LA NOTTE
NOTTING HILL
NOU, DAT WAS HET DAN?
Le nouveau
Une nouvelle amie
Nova Zembla
The November Man
NOW AND THEN
Now You See Me
Now You See Me 2
Now, Forager: A Film About Love & Fungi (Slow Criticism)
NOWHERE
NOWHERE BOY
NSU: German History X
NUAGES. LETTRES À MON FILS
NUE PROPRIÉTÉ
LES NUITS FAUVES
THE NUMBER 23
NUOVOMONDO
NURSE BETTY
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS
Nymphomaniac
NYNKE