Mostly Martha

HT: Sweetbriar Patch

Mostly Martha is a German film about a chef who is obsessed with her art to a point that precludes personal relationships.  She hides behind her precise measurements and particular flavors.  Her sessions with a therapist devolve into Martha’s rambling descriptions of dishes.   Food is her focus; but it is food without fellowship, food  to be admired and analyzed in a scientific sense, calories without communion. 

Two events change Martha: becoming the caregiver for her young niece Lina and the entrance of a robust, hearty, jovial sous chef into Martha’s restaurant kitchen.  Mario’s zest for life is reckoned insanity by Martha; his laughter infuriates her.

The interplay between food and relationship dominates this film.  Before Mario appears, food is strictly clinical.  Even the patrons of the restaurant prefer a particular texture or flavor over a shared experience.  Martha is seldom seen eating and when she does eat it is at a stark table, alone.  Mario understands fine food and appreciates a discerning palate, but he insists on keeping meals within the context of community. The culmination of the film is a feast, a full-orbed celebration that marries friendship with food.

Mostly Martha is the opposite of the downward arc of the 1990 film Avalon.  At the advent of  Avalon we see multi-generational dinners – loud, boisterous gatherings of brothers’ families.  After a television joins the furniture, the empty dining room table is silent and folks eat gathered around the tube.  Eventually a solitary old man is in a care facility sitting in a trance before a tray of untouched food.

7 thoughts on “Mostly Martha

  1. How interesting….
    I’ve havent seen either of these films, but will put them on my list.
    Much depends on dinner!
    Dana in GA
    PS  Indecision keeps me from completing a fair number of decorating tasks.  Hope the guest room gets finished soon.Post of picture 🙂

  2. Netflix – Blockbuster Video has a monopoly in our small town. If it isn’t mainstream, they don’t carry it. When we get the guest room done (bed won’t be here until March) I’ll post pictures. I really want it to be a lovely, welcoming room. I just don’t know quite how to get there! Some folks just have an eye for this kind of thing.

  3. I think you said it’s the SW corner, which spells lots of sun to me. If there’s lots of sun, I would tend to want cool colors to offset the feeling of heat. Even the winter sun can seem hot. Our room is burgundy, and I get lots of compliments. You should come see it. But a light teal or robin’s egg blue might be nice. Do you want deep or light tones? Is the room large? Do you have crown molding? We’ve offset a smaller room that has deep color with very light trim or curtains. That movie’s going on my Netflix too…

  4. I don’t know if you will see this…but we watched part of Most Martha last night per your recommendation.
    We were enjoying it….until the DVD went bad :o(
    We did not get to see the last half-hour of the movie.
    I hate getting movies thru our library. This happens to us almost every time :o(

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