HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Touch of Spice, A Grab some flavour
Year: 2003
Director: Tassos Boulmetis
Stars: George Corraface, Ieroklis Michaelidis, Renia Louizidou, Tamer Karadagli, Basak Köklükaya, Tassos Bandis, Stelios Mainas, Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos, Markos Osse, Thodoros Exarhos, Gözde Akyildiz
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Greek astronomer Fanis Iakovidis (George Corraface) learns his Turkish grandfather (Tassos Bandis) has taken ill, his mind flashes back to his childhood in Istanbul back in 1959. As a boy (Markos Osse) helping out at his grandfather’s magnificent spice shop, Fanos receives valuable life lessons from the old man how food and life both need a little spice to give them flavour. He blossoms into a remarkable cook, sharing recipes with a young Turkish girl named Saime (Gözde Akyildiz) who becomes his first love. Sadly, escalating tensions between Turkey and Greece result in Fanis’ family being deported to Athens and forced to leave grandpa and Saime behind. As years go by, a maturing Fanis (Odysseas Papaspliopoulos) struggles to adjust to his new life and a cuisine lacking that touch of spice.

A huge hit in its native Greece, A Touch of Spice extends its culinary theme to chapter headings named after courses in a meal (appetizer, main, dessert) and is part of a fine tradition of films that celebrate food as a cultural connection to the homeland, nourishment for the soul as well as the body. Think Babette’s Feast (1987) or Eat Drink Man Woman (1994). It opens with an image of a child suckling at its mother’s breast that says it all, although credits roll over the more esoteric image of an umbrella floating across the star-speckled reaches of outer space. Those with low tolerance for magical realism and pretentious philosophising about food will lose patience fairly quickly, but this wistful, melancholic comedy-drama exudes warmth and is grounded by its affecting theme of dislocation. Though their hearts belong in Istanbul, the Iakovidis family are considered Greeks in Turkey, yet labelled Turks in Athens.

Relations between Greece and Turkey have rarely been harmonious, what with several centuries of bad blood between them, so the film is unique in celebrating their shared heritage and - whisper it quietly - cultural similarities. While the film justly skewers the jingoistic mentality that drives various Greek authority figures, from schoolteachers to priests, to pour scorn on Fanos’ love of spicy food, it fumbles the point slightly given his family seem less than enthusiastic about his prodigious culinary talents. His parents are so alarmed they summon a priest to perform an exorcism! The film is surprisingly disparaging about Greek food. “With our cuisine, you always felt there was something missing”, remarks Fanis, drawing a parallel between the lack of spice and the subsequent lethargy that afflicts his own life. “Food and aromas get in the way of adjusting to Greek life”, says his teacher. Some Greek chefs may have something to say about that.

Supposedly drawing upon his own life experiences, writer-director Tassos Boulmetis imbues the film with a grandiose, CGI-laden sweep closer to a fantasy epic than the intimate family drama it is at heart. The story leans towards the anecdotal and proves somewhat shapeless, losing track of several promising threads. The final act contrives a touching reunion between seperated lovers but forgoes the expected romantic ending in favour of a more transcendental conclusion, underlining the reoccurring parallels between gastronomy and astronomy. George Corraface is a charismatic presence though the younger actors playing Fanis at various stages in his life are equally winning and performances are strong across the board.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1703 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: