Having survived the weekend, we’re back on track to meat and cream! Thank gawd!
This evening I made a toasted black peppercorn and cumin pork tenderloin with an apple cognac sauce that was .. OMFG fabulous.
1) first toast your peppercorns and cumin; 2) let them cool and use a pestle and mortar to grind them
3) see, like this; 4) add in 1 tsp of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt and bang it some more
5) you should have this; 6) roll your tenderloin in this and let it sit 4 or so hours
7) sear your tenderloin on all sides and pop into the oven at 400° until it hits 155°; 8) let it sit 10 minutes then carve
9) meanwhile, mix 2tsp Dijon,1/2 cup of cream and 1/3 cup of apple cognac; 10) bring to a boil and reduce by half
11) stir in the pan juices and you’re done
12) serve with sides of your choice and enjoy! … it’s so simple and takes all of 30 minutes max
13) would you ever think that we could still get local Ontario strawberries the 3rd week of September! … unheard of but that is what happens when your summer has been sunny and 40°C!; 14) served with mango, kiwi and grapes and just a splash of Sauternes
Scenes of a Sexual Nature
This cute British film was a bit of a flash in the pan but is worth a look. Directed by Ed Blum it follows scenes of a sexual nature among seven couple lounging on Hampstead Heath in London one sunny afternoon. The stories are hit and miss but there are a couple gems worth renting the film for. In particular the story of Iris (the fabulous Eileen Aktins) and Eddie (Benjamin Withrow), widowed seniors who cross paths on a bench in the park is truly heart-warming, if far-fetched, and Noel (Tom Hardy) and Anna (Sophie Okonedo) as an over-the-top couple – one just dumped; the other very horny. Amid the stories there lurks every manor of sexual truth and innuendo. The film fails in that it is simply too British; witty yes, but too British with the couples endlessly talking about sex rather than getting it on. It is all very droll and could have been better titled ‘Endless Scenes of Seven Couples Talking A Lot’. My rating 5 out of 10.
Where to begin with Wong Kar Wai’s mysterious masterpiece that follows two cops’ adventures with love? Chungking Express is, of course, the Chinese take-out restaurant Wong Kar Wai uses as the foundation for the stories and aside from that link, there is little else that knits the film together – and brilliantly so. Watching Chungking Express is both a joy and an experience. It confounds you … but perhaps, like love, that is its point. Bridgette Lin stars as the Woman in the Blond Wig that Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro) becomes infatuated with while Tony Leung is Cop 663 who is being systematically hounded by the fast food restaurant waitress, Faye (Faye Wong). Filmed back in 1994, Chungking Express is a film junkie’s film concerned more with art than story. Mainstream it is not and like the films of John-Luc Godard – to which its style can be compared – you’re going to either love it or loathe it. This reviewer falls firmly on the love side and is willing to make a stop into this eatery again and again. My rating 9 out of 10.
Infamous street/graffiti artist Bansky directs this film that starts as a documentary purported to illustrate him and morphs into the making of a new art world sensation, MBW (Mr Brainwash); the French shop keeper, Thierry Guetta. Thierry spends every waking moment video taping well, everything in his life. This hobby eventually crosses into the world of graffiti artists, thanks mainly to the fact that his cousin is the infamous artist, Invader. His nocturnal outings eventually lead him to the mysterious Bansky, who takes him on as a comrade-in-arms. When Bansky finally asks to see the documentary Guetta has been making, the dreadful result is enough to have him ask Guetta to return to Los Angeles and take up graffiti full time; thus leaving the raw footage in Bansky’s hands. At this point the film turns into a film about the creation of Mr Brainwash and the uber show he constructs jumping off from where Warhol left off. Exit Through the Gift Shop is a thoroughly engaging film; a shred marketing move on Bansky’s part; and a glimpse into the vacuous world of modern art and what it means to be ‘an artist’ in this day and age. My rating 8 out of 10.
Eyes Wide Shut
The wondrous Stanley Kubrick directs this exceedingly sexual tome on love and jealously and seven year itches. Tom Cruise stars as Dr. Bill Harford, a man seemingly happily married to Alice (Nicole Kidman). But when Alice admits to a near affair, Dr. Harford embarks on a fantastical odyssey over two nights that nearly derails his marriage. Kubrick does what he does so well, giving us his unique immediacy and grandeur as Dr. Harford journeys first to a deathbed then onto a costumier and finally into a mansion-cum-sex-den straight out of the mind of the Pet Shop Boys. While Cruise is his usual stoic self throughout; Kidman seems out of her depth (despite her nudity) and is just plain awful, most especially in both her drunken and sexual scenes; which is odd as she was married at the time to Tom Cruise. In a fashion Eyes Wide Shut is the story of a frosh year student trying to lose his virginity taken far, far out into inner space. Sadly Kubrick passed away prior to the film’s premiere in July 1999 but it remains a gorgeous, deep and luscious examination of one man’s journey back to home. Kubrick considered it his best work to date and considering his filmography that’s quite a testament. This reviewer agrees and bestows a rating of 9 out of 10.
Starring Ethan Hawke as Jesse and Julie Deply as Celine, this 1995 Richard Linklater directed film follows two strangers who meet on a train on route to Vienna and end up spending one of those wondrous paths-less-taken nights together. Jesse is coming off a break-up with his girlfriend in Spain and is heading to Vienna to catch a flight home to America. Celine is on route to Paris but opts to jump the train and spend the evening keeping Jesse company in Vienna. What evolves is a well-written, and honest, love story as the two wander Vienna’s streets taking in the culture. The film works thanks to the great acting and truth that we feel these two people have a genuine connection that grows as they learn more about each other. Perfectly paced through to its ending on the train tracks, Before Sunrise gets my rating of 8 out of 10.