The Film: La jetée
Both futuristic and eternally human. Chris Marker’s film, in textured black and white, relies on the lasting impact of vivid childhood memories. The concentrated story is presented with layers of skill. A lesser storyteller and it would have seemed unknowable, esoteric. Instead, it strikes the right measure between philosophical and tangible.
To call La jetée a film is rather odd as most of the 28 minutes are a still photography. Classified as a sci-fi but presented more like a found journal mashed with documentary and science class slide show, the story is intense and wonderfully bittersweet which works in perfect tandem with the style, whispers and voices, melodramatic music, and poetic narration. It stretches the definition of film in all the right directions.
Fair warning, this film is also a rule bender in another way too. There is a modern remake*, 12 Monkeys. And it’s great. I know, I know, it’s a remake of a foreign film but Terry Gilliam added so much to his adaptation it seems inspired by rather than remade, referenced rather than subverted. It feels like the body of work after a prologue. I found both the original and the homage, to be worthy of watching and a great study of what film can do.
The Food: Apple Raisin Bran Muffins.
Stop. I know what you’re thinking. But these are no ordinary bran muffins. Unlike most, they’re moist and instead of the distinct taste of cardboard and sawdust, they’re warm and golden. Perfect with a cup of coffee. (The one pictured happens to be caramel coffee with dulce de leche eggnog as creamer. As good as it sounds? No — better.) The best thing about this recipe is how good they taste at any time — breakfast, a great midnight snack, or right out of the oven.
They’re called Six Week Muffins because the original recipe makes a massive amount that you can scoop out of any time you want muffins while it stays in the fridge for up to six weeks. This allows you to have a variety of flavors all from one batch of batter. One time, add dark chocolate chips, the next batch can be cinnamon and ginger powder. Everything tastes good in this recipe.
The muffin pictured above was made with apples and the recipe for the batter was halved so I’ve written it out as such. Feel free to double the recipe and add the apples right before baking.
Set oven to 400°, m ix all together
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (more or less, depending on your tastes)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk or soured milk
2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat
2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
7 oz Raisin Bran flakes
1 1/2 chopped apple
Put in greased muffin tins and bake 15-20 minutes
*Some say 12 Monkeys is not a remake. They are wrong. Chris Maker was attributed.