Food on Film

The Criterion Collection: Food on Film
To watch any of the food films recognized on this site, search HOLLIS, or check out the library's guides to Film Research at Harvard and Streaming Video @ Harvard.

Food in Motion Pictures
Click the link above to execute a subject search in HOLLIS for the heading "Food in Motion Pictures." You will see there are many materials of potential interest, and you may refine the search using the options on the right, or modify the original search by adding key terms and resubmitting the search.

Mangiafilm: Dizionario Enciclopedico Della Cucina al Cinema [Mangiafilm: Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cuisine at the Cinema] (by Salvatore Gelsi, 2015)
An encyclopedia of food in motion pictures, including a filmography. In Italian.

Das Grosse Fressen: Gourmet-Gourmand-Filme [The Big Food: Gourmet Gourmand Films] (by Lena Mares, 2000)
A filmography on food in film, in German.

Movie Dinners: Reel Recipes from Your Favourite Films (by Becky Thorn, 2010)
Review: "A fine collection of well-spotted snacks, cocktails, comfort food and desserts from the world of cinema, from Good Fellas' tomato sauce with razor-sficed garlic) and meatballs, to Harry Palmer's omelette, to Amelie's Crème Brûlée."

Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film (Edited by Anne L. Bower)
Devoted to food as a vibrant and evocative element of film. It reads various films through their uses of food—-from major "food films" like Babette's Feast and Big Night to less obvious choices including The Godfather trilogy and The Matrix.

For Databases that index Film Criticism . . . 

See the library's guides to Film Research at Harvard.

Audiovisual Databases

Artstor Digital Library is an image database with content from museums, photo archives, scholars, and artists, including Harvard collections. It is a database of curated collections of art images and associated data covering many time periods and cultures, and documenting the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture.

Bridgeman Art Library
Bridgeman Art Library offers keyword searching and display of its collection of over 350,000 art images from more than 8,000 major international museums, galleries, auction houses, and other collections.

HOLLIS Images is the Harvard Library's dedicated image catalog. It includes content from archives, museums, libraries, and other collections throughout Harvard University. To date, only a portion of Harvard’s visual resources are described herein.

Europeana is a database of the digital and digitized cultural heritage materials of thousands of European archives, libraries and museums.

Ethnographic Video Online
A comprehensive online resource for the study of human culture, behavior and society around the world, with over 1,300 hours of streaming video, including ethnographic films, documentaries, select feature films, and previously unpublished fieldwork. Cooking, food, and foraging are among the thematic areas covered.

Food Studies Online
A collection of archival content, visual ephemera, monographs, and videos that explore how food shapes the world around us. Key themes and disciplines with extensive coverage represented include: marketing and consumerism, production and technology, food history, food movements, culinary and food design, food and identity, health, policy, religion, sociology, anthropology, and history.

Music Online: Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries 
Online collection of recorded sound, including folk, popular, and classical world music, speeches, and oral histories. Some of the ballads collected by Harvard's first professor of Engligh, Francis James Child, are accessible via this resource.

Resources for Research Interviewing

If you will be consulting people for your project to collect information from them via interviews, you may find some of the guidance on the following guide:

Library Support for Qualitative Research: Resources for Research Interviewing

Record Your Own Audio or Video

Multimedia training and assistance are available through the Library's Virtual Media Lab, through which you can find . . .  

Virtual Media Lab staff photo

People: The library has specialists in learning technologies and multimedia who can help you develop engaging and interactive media and hone your digital storytelling skills. Visit to book an appointment or drop in via zoom! 

Fall 2021 Remote Help Hours (Eastern Time): 
Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. 

Space: Cabot Media Studios and the Lamont Multimedia Lab are outfitted for the production of high-quality audio and video recordings.

Equipment: You may borrow computers, peripherals, video cameras, microphones, and other specialized technology through the Library's Tech Loan service.

See also:

Guide to Audio Projects

Guide to Video Projects

"FoodTube" Channels

These resources are recommended by your instructors as potential models for your projects, with thanks to Mr. Patrick McCoy, a former Bok Center Teaching Fellow and a member of the Celtic Languages and Literatures Ph.D. program, who helped to formulate these suggestions.

Short cooking videos (generally 10-15 minutes) with Chef Frank usually fully in frame, with some close ups of the food. 

Binging with Babish
Videos are focused on the food preparation, with Babish’s head out of frame and his voice-over audio narrating the process. 

Tasting History
Max sits at a table, speaking directly to the camera.  As he narrates the food preparation, the picture cuts to food close ups.  As he narrates the history of the food, the picture sometimes shows him talking at the table, sometimes some relevant historical images.

Mythical Kitchen (particularly their ‘Meals of History’ series)
A more chaotic neutral example.