Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Babette's Feast

The cultural distinctions in design within Babette's Feast show themselves not only in the last scenes of the dinner party, but also throughout the entire film when scenes change from the rural to the urban. 

The urban environment that we see represents classic opulence from this time period in Europe.  Stylized portraits, elegant molding, detailed furniture, classic colors, and large open rooms are just some of the main features seen in the film.  On the other hand the rural dwellings of the Jutland area are fairly plain, small, and dull in color and their details.

This brings to light the main contradiction/comparison in the film which was Babette's feast.  The opulent dinner along with the decorations and lighting were in stark contrast with the plain surroundings.  Everything had its opposite in the normal life of the puritans.  Lighting of the table versus the normal dull dark days.  The food an obvious difference from the mush they usually ate.  The decorations, plates, glasses were also in opposition of the simple bowls and spoons that were normal for everyday life.

Despite all of these differences, the one thing that can be taken from this film is that regardless of how different a culture can be, there is always something that can be appreciated about it.  Whether its the history, food, design practices, or the heritage of the people.

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