The Film: Starbuck – (Quebec) Canada
Ordinarily this isn’t a film I would read the synopsis of and decide to watch but I do the social media for Reckless Video, independent video store here in Seattle, and I took notice of the film as a new release when I found a post from Film Courage including an interview with the director and lead actor talking about an upcoming remake.
I’m a huge fan of watching original foreign films and comparing them with the English language remakes. I’ve found so many of my favorite films this way. It’s always a fun experience, even if one or both of the movies aren’t that great, so I decided to take a chance.
Starbuck reminds me very much of another french-language Quebec film which also got an American remake — Louis 19, le roi des ondes [Louis 19, King of the Airwaves] dumb title but fun movie. It wasn’t perfect but it was enjoyable. The two have a lot in common. Their leads are not exactly winners in life though they both have strong bonds with their family and through a series of comedic situations end up asking similar questions — what does it mean to become responsible?
But there is more to Starbuck. As the father of 533 children through sperm donations he gave under the titular pseudonym, David Wozniak slowly becomes involved in their lives — anonymously. The larger questions the movie ultimately deals with give it a lot of heart. What does it mean to be a family and is being a parent the same thing as being a father?
Patrick Huard, who seems to be instantly likeable as I also enjoyed his performance in the film Bon Cop, Bad Cop, does a great job with the comedy and the drama. There are some great laughs on the way and due to what feels like some rough editing, the moods shift a little much and a little fast but its kind of fun to not be able to anticipate exactly what’s around the corner of this unique story.
The Food: Maple Popcorn Wafers
I thought a maple coated popcorn would be a nice paring to go with the film from Quebec but then I happened upon this recipe for maple-cinnamon popcorn wafers and decided to try it.
It does feel a bit strange to use popcorn as an ingredient instead of just adding flavour to the popcorn but I think it was worth it. I can see going a savory route with this and using it as a crouton for salad or soup.
- 2 cups (about 1 ounce) air-popped popcorn
- 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounce) gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons canola oil, or other neutral-tasting oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Combine the popcorn, oats, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle the oil and maple syrup over the top and attach the mixer’s lid.
Process the ingredients for 45 seconds or so, scrape down the sides, and then process for another 45 seconds. Everything should be broken down into tiny granules and clump together like wet sand.
Pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide it into 12 little piles. Dampen your fingers with water and flatten each pile into 1/8-inch thick rounds, re-wetting your fingers as needed. Neaten the edges of the rounds with your fingertips.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until fragrant and just barely starting to darken on the edges. It’s better to under-bake these cookies a bit than over-bake, as they turn more brittle the longer they cook.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet. Lift the parchment to loosen each one and store in an air-tight container. These will retain their crispiness for several days.
I omitted the cinnamon and the maple flavor wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped so I whipped up a very small batch of maple buttercream to frost the wafers.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract