My life can be accurately summed up as a collection of food experiences and I have been considering many possibilities for a project that could combine this film class with my love of food for several weeks now. I have finally decided that for my final project, I want to embody a film that is entirely based around French cuisine: Julie and Julia. I will literally steal the plot and apply it to my life by embodying the role that Julie plays and replicating her goal in the film: to recreate Julia Child’s recipes as a personal challenge and keep an updated blog to chronicle her experiences. I certainly don’t plan on cooking every single recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) within the next month as Julie had planned to do in an year. My personal preferences in food are all baked delights and I will definitely be making the following three recipes from that category that are highlighted in the film: Upside Down Apple Tart, Chocolate Soufflé, and Raspberry Bavarian Cream Cake, and I will also be making whichever recipes throughout the cookbook I personally find appealing. Significant in the film are parts of the film’s cooking scenes where Julie has revelations and realizations about not only cooking but also about her own life. There are also plenty of moments of hilarious and sometimes upsetting accidents and the difficulties she faces. For the personal entertainment of all people who will be informed of my experiences as I go about this project, I will be sure to include those types of instances that I personally encounter.
A second layer of the film is Julie’s use of a blog to chronicle her experiences, both in her life and in her cooking journey. Following this layout from the film as a tool for my presentation, I will be creating a wordpress blog highlighting all the recipes that I will be making and also include personal text in those posts before and after the recipe. Before I state the recipe, I will have a blurb on my personal life that led me to choose the particular recipe and explain the significance to myself personally. After the recipe is stated in the body of the post, I will relay the issues I faced and idea on how to potentially avoid the mistakes I made. The recipe posts will include images of the final creation that I will take of my own creations and also screenshots if the recipe was shown in the film as well all situated at the beginning of each post. This layout is meant to mimic Julie’s style of blogging in the film. In order to create a stronger connection to the film, I will take screen grabs from the film and use them in all applicable posts. Sometimes they may be of the same food item I am making, and other times they may be a different food item that uses the same technique that the item I made uses. For example, if there is a screen grab of Julie making an egg dish, I can apply to to any egg dish I make, giving me a wider array of options for comparisons to the movie.
The blog itself will have a homepage that has a chronological list of all my posts scrolling down and several page links across the top of the site to organize the blog more. There will be an About page to explain the origins of the blog, my idea of implementing Julie and Julia into my life, and why I chose to do this project versus any other option. There will also be page links per type of recipe such as Sauces, Breads, Desserts, etc. and on each page I will link to any relevant blog posts where I have created an item under that category. Aesthetically, the blog must be well organized and easy to follow as a recipe blog and also provide some explanation of how the blog is relevant to this film class.
Besides my love of food and my desire to find a way to incorporate it into my final project, I want to do a project like this because I want to show that films can be relatable to our lives as viewers. Many films like Julie and Julia are often put aside in modern day cinematography because they are not the flashy, dramatic, out of this world, exciting films that tend to capture audiences, nor is it a film on a highly debatable topic that inspires deep discussion after the film. These quiet films are the ones that run most parallel to the average person’s life and I believe that we can use them to reflect on our own lives more than we can with other kinds of films.
At the end of the project, I plan to complete 2-3 recipes a week, within text posts, spanning the period of the next month. I hope to have completed a project that inspires some learning in the kitchen as well as some reflection on myself and my life that can be related through my cooking, much as Julie did throughout the film.