Ever had a bulletproof coffee? No? Well, there might be a good reason for that, as it’s not for the weak hearted or lily-livered.
This is what you do: make a strong brew of good ground coffee and then add a tablespoon or so of butter. Yes, butter. It needs to be unsalted and unadulterated, the grass-fed type, and you can also add a bit of coconut oil (as well as, or instead of the butter if you’re vegan) Whizz it all together in a blender til it gets foamy on top like a cappuccino. Then drink and enjoy.
It’s a bit of an acquired taste – reminiscent of Tibetan yak butter tea (though nicer, which wouldn’t be difficult) but if you can get past the weirdness of sticking a spoonful of butter in your coffee instead of on your toast, it’s not half bad. Plus, it will rev you up and keep you going for hours.
But first thing in the morning as you blearily reach for the kettle, the very thought of it can mess with your mind.
Our next film, The Passenger, will also well and truly mess with your mind. Just reading the synopsis on IMDB will prompt an inner voice going “Whaaat…??” and maybe another one shouting, “Keep up!”
Its director, Michelangelo Antonioni, has rather gone out of fashion lately; his sparse, enigmatic style, loooooong lingering takes and abstract imagery confounded cinema audiences in the 1960s and yet he has also been recognized by critics as one of the great auteur directors. “The supreme poet of modern disjunction” (John Patterson)
You can see traces of his influence in films by Wim Wenders and Paul Thomas Anderson, where humans are struggling to make sense of their inner and outer landscapes, often featuring a solitary protagonist wandering through an alien, half- unrecognisable world. You don’t know what they’re thinking. The plot is vague. It’s hard to know why they are behaving they way they do. They’re not exactly chatty; dialogue is stilted. Yet there is something hypnotically beautiful and compelling in the way the camera dances through these long, spiralling shots, finding poetry in stillness and colour while the characters move like people in a dream.
If you are looking for a “switch your brain off” movie with a traditional plotline, and a resolution you can see coming a mile off, then this might not be for you. But if you want to lose yourself in the power of the moving image and all the places that cinema can take you, then Antonioni is your man.
“The Passenger” is actually one of his most accessible films, starring Jack Nicholson in one of the best performances of his career. Like an old fashioned B movie, you sense it is not going to end well as the hero’s journey takes him from the North African desert to Barcelona and beyond, getting deeper and deeper into trouble along the way. The mysterious mood becomes more and more ominous. But you can’t stop watching. The camera work is just as much of a star as the actor, taking on a life of its own until the amazing seven minute final shot that will leave you lost for words.
“A fatalistic tale of identity, destiny, coincidence, existential malaise, and the boundaries between the real and the imagined” (Nick Schager, Slant Magazine), “The Passenger” is as exotic and surprising as a spoonful of coconut oil in your coffee – and you might just find it addictive.
We are showing “The Passenger” on Wednesday 29th October, 7.30 for 8pm, at the Old Woolworth’s, The Moor.
Tickets £5 on the door ; please bring a recent passport photo or some form of identification. We hope to see you there.