And I'll Never Have That Recipe Again
August 6, 2011 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Film Class 101: Cake comes before the fall.

[via mefi projects]
posted by griphus (43 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is awesome. Surely, however, the Cuba cake in Godfather II should be included?
posted by condour75 at 9:49 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


When Cake or Death just isn't enough.
posted by darksasami at 9:56 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Excellent! The Omen is also missing from the list, although I could only find a clip from the remake.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:16 AM on August 6, 2011


Sugary frosted creamy moist DOOM

( go herm!)
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 AM on August 6, 2011


Is it weird that my first thought was The Sesame Street Baker?
posted by KGMoney at 10:28 AM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, what a neat cliche! And an excellent blog.
posted by Calzephyr at 10:36 AM on August 6, 2011


It's like watching a tv trope entry have it horrible horrible birth.
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Missing Some Like it Hot. Mob Boss [re: shooting]: "There was something in the cake that didn’t agree with them.” Detective Mulligan: “My compliments to the chef. Nobody leaves this room until I get the recipe.”
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:41 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


All I can think of with this is the November Rain video.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:00 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pies should be included. I'm thinking in particular about the pie fight at the end of Dr. Strangelove, which although it didn't make the final edit still survives as images on the internet.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:01 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry. images
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:03 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


No pies.
posted by hermitosis at 11:03 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read that in the voice of Edna mode.
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any cakes left in the rain? With the sweet green icing flowing down?
posted by kmz at 11:17 AM on August 6, 2011


Oh damnit, just noticed the post title. Oh well.
posted by kmz at 11:17 AM on August 6, 2011


No pies.

I could understand the omission of muffins or cornbread, but pies are an integral part of cinematographic history, beginning with Chaplin's Behind the Screen (pie fight starts about 50 seconds in) and Laurel & Hardy's Battle of the Century (which used over 3000 pies).

A good pie fight always begins as a harbinger of doom. Someone aims a pie, and everyone knows that the pie will hit somebody, though not necessarily the person you thought it would hit. Pie fights are wildly unpredictable and chaotic, and should strike fear into anyone observing one.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:19 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The pies should have their own separate tumblr.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:23 AM on August 6, 2011


There is some overlap in the narrative uses/symbolism of cakes and pies, especially inasmuch as they serve as a sort of "safe" outlet for audience's destructive impulses.

Pies, however, are very rarely elaborate, and very rarely celebrational, and those are two important lenses through which I'm viewing these clips. Most of the pies in a staged pie-fight are little more that foam/cream sprayed into a paper plate -- you rarely get the sense that much effort, care, hope, or taste has been invested in them -- they are "easy as pie."

While pies are still associated with gender (femininity), it's not in quite the same way or to the same degree as are cakes. I suspect the aspirational aesthetics cake is what makes the vital difference.
posted by hermitosis at 11:36 AM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pies have their own place in cinematic and and cultural history. It's more about bringing hoity-toity types down a peg.
posted by piratebowling at 11:37 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The pies should have their own separate tumblr.

Well, I for one can imagine a world where all baked goods live in harmony. There will come a day when every pie has his share of the pie. Where cakes stop saying "let them eat cake". Where donuts stop being holier than thou.

Imagine a world where strudel coexists peacefully with baklava, where cheesecake earns the right to be a real cake, where biscotti and tart sit down with sticky buns.

You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope one day you will join us. Bring coffee.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:39 AM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Right, piratebowling -- a pie is folksy. There's a sort of class issue buried in there for sure.

Cake destruction underscores our uneasy relationship with decadence. We crave and aspire to it, but deep down we know it's unhealthy and unsustainable. Seeing an elaborately decadent cake bite the dust before it can be enjoyed confirms something we already suspect about the life and our own nature.
posted by hermitosis at 11:40 AM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


about life, rather.
posted by hermitosis at 11:41 AM on August 6, 2011


Personal favorite: The smashed birthday cake in Mean Streets (with "Rubber Biscuit" playing in the background.)
posted by CCBC at 11:49 AM on August 6, 2011


her-mi-to-sis! her-mi-to-sis! her-mi-to-sis!

Somebody get the palanquin! We have an occasion to celebrate and a man to venerate! (But leave your cakes at home).
posted by troll at 11:55 AM on August 6, 2011


Great, now cakes are going to fill me with deep foreboding.
posted by The Whelk at 12:41 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Silence of the Lambs piece:

Blink and you’ll miss this instance where one of the male agents clamors for a photo with Ardelia, clasping her in a embrace that suggests they’re old chums. This seems to be Demme’s cynical hint at the role Ardelia will most likely find herself playing in the FBI, the public face of the agency’s new inclusivity.

This would be a trenchant analysis if the writer had paid more attention to the movie. These are not agents, they are the pair of geeky entomologists that Starling goes to for information on the moth. They are the outsiders, hoping to enhance their prestige by appearing in a photo with an agent. Or if you want to keep on the psychosexual track, these are chess club geeks, posing for a yearbook shot with the cheerleader they barely know. In either case, the males in the picture have less cachet than the female agent.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:29 PM on August 6, 2011


You know what? You're totally right. I didn't rewatch the whole movie before I posted that. I'll edit the entry when I get home from this wedding.
posted by hermitosis at 3:20 PM on August 6, 2011


Wedding?


You're not going to ....do something to the cake?
posted by The Whelk at 3:23 PM on August 6, 2011


In which it turns out that this blog is part of some real life supervillian origin story...

Also, I've never seen mini fish tacos as hors d'euvres (drunk sp?) before.
posted by hermitosis at 4:12 PM on August 6, 2011


You'll have to join a supervillians group with the butcher and the candlestick maker.
posted by The Whelk at 4:44 PM on August 6, 2011


Instead of a cake the bride and groom have a Pinkberry buffet set up. Crisis averted!
posted by hermitosis at 4:56 PM on August 6, 2011


Pinkberry Buffet? So they hate the lactose intolerant then?
posted by The Whelk at 5:02 PM on August 6, 2011


Weddings are all about hatred. Surely you of all people know this??
posted by hermitosis at 5:15 PM on August 6, 2011


I got Gayeloped, that's why I'm waiting for lobsters to cook after swimming naked by moonlight in a deep clear pond twenty miles from the nearest soul.
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do you hate never-nudes and people allergic to shellfish??
posted by hermitosis at 5:40 PM on August 6, 2011


They killed my parents.
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, just ate some cake. It was delicious.
posted by breath at 8:22 PM on August 6, 2011


A Doom Cake?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:34 PM on August 6, 2011


A cake thread with no reference to lies? Or did I miss it.
posted by marble at 12:06 AM on August 7, 2011


Holy crap they made Bella a big cake. WTF is she supposed to do with that thing? Split it with Charlie?
posted by NoraReed at 1:27 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having trouble loading right now but the two I immediately thought of were Marie Antoinette (I think Sofia Coppola agrees with you about all the murky things cake can be tagged as, hermitosis) and Elaine on Seinfeld's rant about office cakes (something like "we're all miserable, do we have to be fat too!") immediately before ingesting Peterman's historical multi-thousand dollar auction Duke of Windsor or whatever wedding cake.
posted by ifjuly at 6:43 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The I Want Candy montage in Marie Anionette is basically one complex cake/tart being consumed while Marie proceeds to bankrupt France with fancy hats. The dog eating the cake at the end could be seen as ruining a cake? Maybe?
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 AM on August 8, 2011


I have added The Omen and Some Like It Hot and have a lot of other movies from this thread in my Netflix queue now. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and corrections. The blog was featured in The Guardian recently and a few other great places, but I don't think anyone out there thought (or overthought) about it as much as y'all did here in this thread. Win!
posted by hermitosis at 10:28 AM on August 20, 2011


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