Dinner and a movie: Wes Anderson

Enjoy some tamales as Wes Anderson's new film, ‘Moonrise Kingdom' hits theaters.
by Dave Cathey Modified: June 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm •  Published: June 25, 2012
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The result is a deadpan delivered indie comedy classic.

Anderson's visual style was present from the beginning, with signature camera movements from medium to tight on human faces, offbeat characters of foreign descent, comedy derived from actions surrounding the central characters in a scene, absurdism, the camera's childlike fascination with small details, dry humor amid chaos, misplaced Christmas music, and cross-dressing eras via music, wardrobe and props.

“Bottle Rocket” might be among Anderson's most quotable works.

There is the inimitable: “On the run from Johnny Law; ain't no trip to Cleveland.”

There is this exchange preceding the bookstore heist:

Bob: “What are you putting that tape on your nose for?”

Dignan: “Exactly!”

‘We're sharing these tamales'

Today's recipe is derived from some lines uttered by Anthony that are among my favorites in the film. While on the lam in Hillsboro, Texas, and holed up at the local Days Inn, Anthony falls for a housekeeper named Inez, played by Lumi Cavazos — star of one of the great food films of all time, “Like Water for Chocolate.”

When Anthony sees Inez standing next to her cleaning cart, she scratches her ankle with the toes of her other foot as she pulls back her hair. An old transistor radio bound in leather plays retro Tejano music. A pair of huaraches rests on the cart. He is smitten.

Anthony, clad in a bathrobe of many colors, follows Inez around the motel, helping change sheets and clean, as he harangues her about his life. He speaks no Spanish. She is working on her English. The conversation is limited. However, as they make it into the laundry room, they sit down for a little lunch and Anthony waxes poetic thusly: “This is great, here we are sitting in the laundry room — you're practicing your vocabulary, we're sharing these tamales. It's, it's just how I would've expected it.”

I love tamales, I love this film. And if you can't understand that, well, in the words of Dignan: “You, my dear friend, are a damn fool!”

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by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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