There’s more to cooking on camera than Top Chef, and despite films like Big Night or Julie and Julia that have inspired foodies across the country to run out and prepare elaborate meals, it’s rare that we get a cinematic look at how ordinary folks cook every day. It might not be the first thing that comes up when people talk about Chantal Akerman’s masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, but one of the features that make this film so strangely compelling is the attention it pays to the simple routines of cooking. Without moving her camera, Akerman follows her heroine’s every move as she prepares meat loaf, breads cutlets, and peels potatoes. The style may be objective, but the effect is highly personal.
What does it look like when you cook on camera? Now’s your chance to show us! In honor of the release of Jeanne Dielman on DVD, we’re sponsoring the world’s first Jeanne Dielman–Criterion Collection Cooking Video Contest. Make a video of yourself (or someone else) cooking 1) meat loaf, 2) cutlets, or 3) potatoes, and upload it as a video response to Jeanne Dielman–Criterion Collection Cooking Video Contest on YouTube. There will be two prizes. The winner of the Audience Award, the most popular entry as voted on by the YouTube community, will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Criterion Collection website. A Grand Prize winner, to be selected by the staff of the Criterion Collection, will receive a new PlayStation 3, Criterion's reference Blu-ray player. Submissions are welcome from anywhere in the world, but only U.S. and Canadian entries will be eligible for prizes. The deadline is September 28, 2009.