Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fast food nation

Saw this last night and it's a must see. Like 'Dazed and Confused’, but with a message.

Richard Linklater's latest movie, which opens shortly, is a fictionalised version of Eric Schlosser's hit non-fiction book 'Fast Food Nation'.

With the tagline 'The Truth is Hard to Swallow', you'll know that's true once you've watched this journey to the dark heart of where your two all-beef patties come from.

Greg Kinnear plays Mickey's Fast Food Restaurants head of marketing, and inventor of the "The Big One", and he is sent to check out not so tasty goings on at the meat packing plant where Mickey's (standing in for McDonald's here) burgers come from.

He drives out to beautiful Denver, Colorado, and it looks like you're floating over open prairie until the camera swoops in and reveals miles and miles of steel pens crammed with cows chowing down on genetically engineered food. No roaming longhorns here.

His story runs parallel to that of some young Mexicans crossing the border for the first time to work in the US. Some of these unlucky sould end up working for Uni-Globe Meatpacking for low wages and dangerous conditions.

Inside here is where you realise the true meaning of fast food. So many corners are cut in making the food (in killing and processing the animals) and ensuring that only cheapest meat makes it down the line as fast as possible. This leads to mishaps as cow intestines splitting and shit getting into the meat.

Bruce Willis does a good turn as the man responsible for the meatpacking contract for Mickey's in Denver. He plays a hardball Republican whose answer to healthy quibbles is a diatribe about all the things wrong with "this country today" speech. His response to a bit of shit on the food is to "cook it". He doesn't mention anything about eating it.

Linklater favourite and 'Before Sunrise' star Ethan Hawke is back, but this time he plays mentor to a new generation of slackers and is merely there to retell stories from his days of student activism, which leads to the final strand in the movie, where Hawkes’ niece in the movie leads one of the film’s funniest scenes as he and her student friends try to set the cows free... only to find that they can not get them to leave their grass-free steel enclosures because that is the only life they know.

It gets gory at times, but if you're going to eat the stuff, you should at least know where it comes it from.


At 12:58 PM, Anonymous food for thought said...

think the film looks excellent but i think that people now get the message of this food related programming/film making.

most people know that people are being exploited and there are malpractises all the way through the production/prep/sales process.

The simple fact is that if you're hungry/drunk/stupid/a tramp you know that if you've got a couple of quid then you know that you can get some quick grub and use their loos.

BTW, loved the reference from a BR article to the blog today. should improve the profile. Lovely Editing big guy

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous the grumpy online pixie said...

I don't really care where it comes from. As long as it tastes good and thus numbs the pain of this existence then I'm all for it.

Bring on the split cow intestines I say.

Is it really only Tuesday?

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous hopelessly devoted to blog said...

One word


when can we expect it and where will the blog sit?

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous sinking into a vat of despair the pixie yearns for his lunchtime visit to the pub said...

Having read 'food for thought''s comment I can conclude I am both stupid and a tramp.

As that great philosopher poet Yazz was wrote 'the only way is up'.

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous the pixie has left the building said...

Could we not do away with this pesky Brand Republic thing and just have the blog?

Only a thought.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous gordan the great said...

if some fun is what you want,
gordon can give you a hand
shandy round the corner at lunch is what he specialises in

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Gordon said...

The relaunch should be unveiled on Jan 19.

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous boozy pixie said...

Only ten days to go? Could we do a big countdown thingie?

I'm so excited I just can't hide it.

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous hootananny pixie said...

all together now...TEN...

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous jools holland pixie said...


At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Countdown Pixie said...

EIGHT...days until the redesign!

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous online pixie said...


At 3:21 PM, Anonymous 'never gonna happen' pixie said...

What's going on with the relaunch?


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