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Dec 25, 2011 04:16 PM

Jim Harrison A Really Big Lunch

Has anybody out there read Jim Harrison's "A Really Big Lunch"? Published in the 2004 New
Yorker Food Issue, it's an account of a 37 course lunch he and some other people took part in in Burgundy France. The article is an amazing piece of writing reccouning a very oppulent event. My
question is could this piece be turned into a movie? I realize that the article doesn't have the conflict necessary in a piece of fiction, but couldn't a good screenwriter create one? (I tried writing fiction writing in college but I suck at it. I eventually got a Library Science Degree but I Digress.)

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  1. hmmm... I don't recall that article, and my stash doesn't go back that far anymore, but I think I still have an online account, so I'm going to look for it. It sounds like a great article. Without having read it, the only concern I would have is Hollywood turning what you describe as a seemingly fine piece of writing into the usual pap they churn out daily. Ala Frances Mayes' "A Year in Tuscany", which became a ridiculous farce about a woman looking for love. And I don't even trust foreign film makers anymore not to follow the Hollywood formula (at least some of them) - both "Woman on Top" and Toast" were disappointments, to me. As was "Today's Special" (though I don't think that was actually an Indian-made film.)

    Then again, I loved "Big Night", an indie film.... so maybe it's possible... thanks for bringing up that article, i'm going to take a look for it.

    9 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen

      It's in the New Yorker food and drink compendium, and it's a doozy. Wait until you get to the end.

      1. re: buttertart

        is this it, BT? Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink [Hardcover]
        David Remnick (Editor) - i think it's much later, but I can't find what you're talking about....

            1. re: onrushpam

              damn, i'm already loving it. 2nd paragraph: "Life is brutishly short and we wish to eat well, and for this we must generally travel to large cities, or, better yet, to France."

              1. re: mariacarmen

                What about the end? Love it. Words to live by. That's a nice volume to dip into in general.

                1. re: buttertart

                  i haven't had a chance to finish it! saving it for a nice quiet time.

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    So does anybody see any cinematic potential in the article?

                  2. re: buttertart

                    i did love the end, BT!
                    what is the volume you're talking about, again? i couldn't find it when i googled it.... thanks.

        1. Is this the same Jim Harrison featured on the 2009 No Reservations episode in Livingston Montana? It was rerun tonight on TC.

          1 Reply
          1. I finally read the article. Loved it! Great writing as you say. As I said earlier, though, I think to turn it into a movie someone would give it some gimmicky conflict mechanism and the piece's simplicity would be lost. Just my opinion.

            5 Replies
            1. re: mariacarmen

              The title of the anthology is Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book Of Food And Drink

              Edited By David Remnick

              ISBN 978 0 8129 7641 0

              I found it on

              1. re: syrup09

                That's it. Another good piece in it is Nora Ephron's on the early days of the "gourmet revolution".

                1. re: buttertart

                  oooh yay! i actually did stumble upon that when ordering the "The Supper of the Lamb" by Robert Farrar Capon (from the MFK Fisher thread) and ordered it too!

                2. re: syrup09

                  I have that book! I absolutely love it. I don't' think I've gotten to the part of the book that has that article, though. It's one of those books that I'll read a couple of essays at a time, then not read it for a bit, then pick it back up later.