El Bulli: Cooking In Progress (2011)
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 18
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Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 6
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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 579
For six months of the year, renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià closes his restaurant El Bulli and works with his culinary team to prepare the menu for the next season. An elegant, detailed study of food as avant-garde art, El Bulli: Cooking In Progress is a tasty peek at some of the world's most innovative and exciting cooking; as Adrià himself puts it, "the more bewilderment, the better!" --(C) Alive Mind
Jul 27, 2011 Limited
Mar 27, 2012
Lorber Films - Official Site
Watch It Now
For those of us who don't have an deep interest in freeze-drying, 'El Bulli' is astonishingly, sub-'Masterchef' dull.
You leave "Cooking in Progress" with respect for a man who followed his vision, and with fascination at the idea of food as artistic expression.
If you're passionate (and open-minded) about food, you'll be fascinated.
If your idea of fine dining is pumpkin meringue sandwiches, bone marrow tartare with oysters, tea shrimp with caviar anemones, and ice vinaigrette with tangerines and green olive, then by all means make haste to El Bulli.
Offers a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes at the Spanish restaurant hailed as the most influential eatery in the world.
We're made to marvel at slow-cooked, freeze-dried, unappetizingly bagged food, the way some mushrooms, when delicately sliced, evoke fruit and some crustaceans resemble side-sleeping snooze-bar slappers.
Not only does the food look barely edible but the film is remarkably unilluminating about the history of the restaurant, the characters or those who ate there.
The result is hypnotic rather than instructive and, like TV cookery programmes, it's a cinematic experience resembling lap dancing overseen by a duenna.
There is no doubting that even this overlong examination of culinary expertise and experimentation will become a classic.
There are enough outbreaks of culinary weirdness to keep true enthusiasts distracted.
As an advertisement for the restaurant, this works well, but the issues - the art of cuisine and cuisine as art - are not discussed very thoroughly.
"Make it magical," Adrià often urges his acolytes, and it's advice Wetzel would have done well to heed.
The dishes stream past our eyes and noses, exposing one of the film's two deficiencies. We need scratch'n'taste cards for all this, don't we?
Offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of culinary science and it's hard not to marvel at the skill and expertise on display, but the fly-on-the-wall style strips the film of context and it ultimately becomes a little dull.
Although we get little of the flavour of the man behind the restaurant, Wetzel captures the essence of Adrià's process of sublime culinary creation.
Legendary chef Ferran Adrià's philosophising about pushing new food frontiers is fascinating, but barely glimpsed, so keen is the film on recording the appliance of science to innocent ingredients.
...will appeal to two types of people: those with a deep and highly specific interest in the art of cooking, and those interested in extreme craftsmanship as practiced in any line of work
A rather elegantly simplistic and hands-off exploration of food as avant-garde art that cooks up all sorts of elemental yearnings in the tastebuds of viewers.
Director Wetzel doesn't so much explain the surreal mindset of Adrià as he does simply hang out and film the proceedings. But seriously, what revolutionary proceedings they are.
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