Ismail Merchant's Florence

Overview

Ismail Merchant's account of the filming of A Room with a View is really a song in praise of the Tuscan table. For while Merchant recounts the problems - both hilarious and daunting - in trying to shoot a movie in the crowded tourist mecca of Florence, his most passionate prose is reserved for those moments - and there were many of them - when he and his cast and crew stopped to sample the bounty of the Tuscan countryside and the world-famous creations of the Florentine kitchen. Accompanied by production shots ...
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Overview

Ismail Merchant's account of the filming of A Room with a View is really a song in praise of the Tuscan table. For while Merchant recounts the problems - both hilarious and daunting - in trying to shoot a movie in the crowded tourist mecca of Florence, his most passionate prose is reserved for those moments - and there were many of them - when he and his cast and crew stopped to sample the bounty of the Tuscan countryside and the world-famous creations of the Florentine kitchen. Accompanied by production shots and stunning still life photographs by Derrick Santini, Ismail Merchant's text lets the reader wander behind the scenes in the shooting of a major motion picture. We learn how, for example, a "view" was created from a room that, in fact, had no view, and how, amid angry demonstrators and hungry pigeons, fully dressed stars and extras managed successfully to complete the famous scene in the Piazza Signoria. But between takes, Ismail Merchant always returns to the table, whether it is set at Florence's famous Il Cavallino restaurant or in the stately Villa Maiano, whether it is really only a picnic spread out on a hillside or tripe eaten on the street. And, when not at the table, Merchant is in the markets, sampling the fruit and vegetables fresh from the farm that give Tuscan cooking its unique character. When the tale has been told, and the last meal eaten, to satisfy the reader's inevitable hunger, Merchant provides seventy recipes from antipasti to desserts that can be successfully prepared in any kitchen.
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Editorial Reviews

Barbara Jacobs
A talented film producer adds to his growing culinary work by launching the first of many cook-alogues about cities where he has filmed and feasted. The site this first time is Florence and environs, where he filmed his beloved A Room with a View. In fact, the 70 recipes are almost incidental to Merchant's gastronomic tour of the area, the accompanying photography, and tales of the film's near disasters and final successes. Scouting for locations starts, of course, with a meal; the actual shoot is enhanced by, yes, yet more feasts and Merchant's impromptu dinners. The dishes reflect very simple Tuscan fare with more than a few of the author's improvisations. A passionate and personal reflection on movies and meals.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810936393
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.82 (d)

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