Nice to know I was in the right place… I tend to get lost
Cork French Film Festival ran from 3rd to 10th of March and I was lucky enough to catch some of it last weekend. I’ve been off the drink for 5 weeks now (an occasional flexing of willpower necessitated by some hard weekends on the road) so finding a couple of festivals where temptation wouldn’t be around every corner was more than welcome. The unfortunate thing is that I’m also on a detox binge and I’m forbidden to eat any bold things. Unfortunate because the first screening I attended was in Ballymaloe, a culinary epicentre of Ireland. How was the willpower in the face of French fodder from the Allen’s kitchen? It wilted like a soufflé left in a draft
Noir et Blanc Chocolat Mousse – My Downfall
The theme for this years festival was Noir et Blanc, all films were black and white, an intriguing and brave move for a film festival that was already restricted to French cinema (which isn’t much of a restriction really). The film on the night was Jean Cocteau’s 1946 surreal fairytale Belle et Bete (Beauty and the Beast). I’m not in a position to appreciate the importance of the film in the context of the history of cinema, I have heard of Cocteau before and although it was interesting to see it, it did leave me somewhat cold. There were moments where Cocteau’s brilliance reared it’s head, but someone who knows more about this kind of thing might be able to tell me if they were somewhat diluted in an effort to make the film more broad in it’s appeal at the time of it’s release. The star of the show on the night was definitely the chocolate mousse. It could have been that I’ve been deprived of bold things recently, but it was f@ckin’ amazing. Really! As odd as confectionary stealing the limelight is, it would actually reoccur before the weekend was out. Supper and flick in Ballymaloe was €40 which I thought was really good value for a very classy and well attended evening. I managed to resist the wine… I had to drive
As close to being royalty as I’ll ever get – I was in Midleton yo!
A very informative Corkonian recommended Midleton Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning as a little break from the French flicks. Took the chance to meet up with fellow blogger and legend Limmster and her daughter. They bought daffodils and carrots, I bought shockingly expensive (but delicious) salmon, rashers and we all got grub from Green Saffron, the best curry stall this side of Dehli. I mentioned this dude before, he’s popped up at a few festivals and you can find his prepared spices in more and more shops around the country. Before setting up his stall of Indian deliciousness, he was Groove Armada’s manager. Bizarre. There was an acoustic band playing tunes in the style of Mumford and Sons who were surprisingly good and the atmosphere at the market was pretty perfect for a Saturday morning. As well as my favourite curry dude, a stall from my favourite salad dude was also in the mix. Rocket Man dished out free salad to punters outside the Food Festival in Cork last year, it didn’t go down well with organisers but I thought it was brilliant. Free grub and you didn’t have to pay to get in. Rocket Man rocks
A Man who can make salads interesting is a Super-Hero
It was back into town for one of the headlining events at Cork French Film Festival. The flick was the 1928 release Passion of Joan of Arc, a silent film that was accompanied on the night by a score from Cork composer Irene Buckley. Contemporary accompaniment for silent films have been popping up around the place at festivals for years, group 3epkano have become regulars at it. I’ve never heard it done as successfully as it was last Saturday. The film is incredibly striking in it’s imagery and the music that accompanied it suited it perfectly. The setting also helped.
The local monoplex cinema in Cork
The screening was in stunning St. Finn Barrs Cathedral, a setting that’s just a little bit more impressive than your local cineplex. The candles set the mood and the playing of the organ combined with the soprano and electronics that complimented the images all came together to create an enjoyable, atmospheric and immersive experience. The event was sold out and there were queues of people waiting to see if they could squeeze in after all the ticket holders arrived. The demand was well deserved, it was a wonderful event. It tours around and has just recently returned from Glasgow. Keep skecth for it, you won’t be disappointed.
Not much chance of getting some popcorn from these fellas
It’s nice to know that occasionally it’s possible to head off on the road to a festival and really enjoy part of it without having to lash in the pints. Don’t get me wrong, a bottle of Buckfast is yer only man in certain festive situations and I’ll fall off the wagon with a bang soon enough, but some balance is no bad thing. Before I left Cork, it had another surprise for me. The wonderful night in the cathedral was about to be upstaged and yet again it was by confectionary.
This is actually a cake – I’m not clowning!
I was out in Little Island where I saw a sign for “Sugarcraft Cork Fair”. Any kind of an event usually grabs my interest when I’m in full festival mode, so I decided I’d go in for a gawk; I wasn’t really expecting that much. The craft confectioners of Cork blew the bulb off me. It was amazing. The sugar in the air in the main cakeotorium may have got me high, but I was gobsmacked.
May contain traces of unicorn
The delicate detail on some of the cakes was bewildering. Surely these things aren’t meant for eating? It’s an underground movement that you rarely get to hear anything about, but the sugar weavers have clubs all over the country and this is one of their flagship events. It was a competition and a chance for suppliers to sell their wares to the bespoke bakers. It got to chat with 16 year old Daniel Mahon who won a silver medal for his Children of Lir cake, he was awfully proud. He told me about painstaking hours with airguns of food dye getting the colours and textures just right. He definitely wouldn’t let anyone eat it.
Only a psychopath could eat this cake! It was my favourite
How could you choose between eating the owl or the pussycat? And if you ate their boat, they’d drown. I am glad to report that I’ve discovered where a phrase that always confudled me comes from. Of course if you have your cake, you’re going to bloody eat it, the saying makes no bloomin’ sense. For a Sugarcrafter, to have your cake AND eat it is never going to happen. It makes perfect sense now.
You would need a tanker of tea to get through this lot
Diabetics would not have been able to enter the theatre of cake, the air was full of sugar. Just breathing was like licking a battenburger, it must be against some cannon law to have something like this on during Lent? This event highlighted yet again that there are whole groups of people around the country getting together, enjoying their own interests and most of us know nothing about them. As impressed as I was by the cakes, I’m also somewhat chuffed that I resisted the temptation to make a smutty entdndré about pastry porn and masterbakers!
Safe Travels, Don’t Die