Wine Movies and the Bad Moon Overhead
When did the graphic display of bloody human mutilations and mindless murders go from being an accidental opportunity to be repulsed by some sick fuck’s exercise of their freedom of speech to being a legitimate cinematic genre that has overtaken the film industry?
This is the question that rolled about my head as I took a walk through the local Blockbuster the other day looking for “Bottle Shock”. I strolled the aisles not just looking for Bottle Shock, but also trying to mentally list those films that have wine as a prominent theme:
A Good Year
A Walk in the Clouds
Blood & Wine
This Earth is Mine
I could think of no more. I’m sure there must be others, but at the time, as I was bombarded by images of knives, guns, human remains, psychotic killers, blood for the sake of blood, ice picks, axes, meat grinders, happy murderers, masked mutilators, chainsaws ripping through human flesh and any number of other sick and prurient images, I was overwhelmed by the devotion to offering up and consuming human sacrifices as an excuse for entertainment.
Yet, exposing minors to the consumption of alcohol is the topic of the day? Nakedness and sex in film is a main concern? Removing the inhalation of tobacco from the movie screen is a movement?
So, what must be done to get more wine-related films made? I presume we must see screenplays developed that include winemakers having their heads hacked off with sharpened staves from oak barrels. Perhaps something along the lines of a psychotic winemaker subduing and draining his tasting room visitors of their blood to add to his next vintage?
There’s a bad moon overhead where entertainment is concerned. Are blood stained films so prevalent because we are a violent people? Or are we a violent people because of the prevalence of blood stained movies?
Is there a lack of commonsense about wine in our culture because of a lack of wine movies? Or is there a lack of wine movies because of a lack of commonsense about wine in our culture?
How many wine movies can the market bear? I enjoyed most of the movies you listed, but I’m a bit more interested in more meaningful scenes in which wine is spoken about and consumed as opposed to simply being a prop. Some examples here would be James Bond’s choice of Champagne over the years, or Jean-Luc Picard’s family winery in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Sometimes this can lead to weird product placement (the Ruffino labels that were always turned towards the camera in The Devil Wears Prada), but if kids and adults for that matter see wine consumed responsibly by “the good guys” it will seem like a more respectable pursuit.
Or perhaps we should just settle for fewer scenes in which Champagne is sprayed all over a room, people, tables, etc.
I’m not sure I’m seeing the connection here. Does your local Blockbuster put the wine-related films in the Horror section?
There might be more wine films if someone made a good one….good luck with Bottle Shock dude, that b-l-e-w. Horrible acting, mind numbing dialog, cheesy female archetypes…ugh, lame.
Don’t forget Rosemary’s Baby. There was at least one scene where Guy and Rosemary were enjoying some wine-pretty sure it was before she gave birth to the devil.
ENOUGH with the BOLDING already! It’s not okay to do this. It’s not. Think of the lost readers!
I love movies about wine… ‘Sideways’ movie is all about wine… for me a great deal of enjoyment of this movie is the wine quotes and scenes. there are long discussion about wine, about why wine is so meaningful and how it effects people.
Tom … not sure there are enough wine nuts out there (like me) that would enjoy countless wine related movies, but if what you were really trying to get at is the insane notion that wine is often seen as inherently “evil” and its very sight will increase alcoholism and debauchery, versus the abundant hate filled and/or killing movies and shows, that seem to be commonplace and fully accepted,… well … I think you have a point there:-)
Year of the Comet is the only other one I can think of.
I’m a huge fan of both wine and movies, and let me tell you Tom, I’m delighted to have a big gulp of a full-bodied red wine just when somebody is being filleted onscreen.
Anyway, here are a couple more movies with interesting wine references for you:
“Notorious, “Gigi” and one you should not miss: “Killer Bees” (set at what’s now Niebaum-Coppola!)
There are a few local Healdsburg boys that made a movie last year called “corked.” It is a spoof on the wine industry. It played at the Raven last fall to a sold out crowd for few nights. It was hilarious! I was laughing constantly! Since then they have been trying to sell it, not sure where it stands. Ross Clendenon is one of the producers/writers.
Mondovino is somewhat interesting. The guy has a viewpoint, but for those of us that don’t have direct access to Rolland or the Mondavi family for instance, it is interesting to see interviews with them.
There is a lack of wine movies because there is a distinct lack of blood & gore in wine movies!
You’ve inspired me. I think “The Sonoma Barrel Stave Massacre” would be a heckuva great film. I’ll be working on a treatment. Maybe we could get Alice Cooper to play the villain? And just think of the action figures!
Producers, please have your people contact my people at the web address below.
Thanks for the names of the movies as I was wondering some more movies on the Wine. Which will be the best movie to be watched? A nice article.
If you want a little blood and gore, there IS the film The Grapes of Death by Jean Rollin. Experimental pesticides cause Frenchmen to go mad with axes!
“Mondovino” doesn’t have any axe murders in it, and it does have some cute dogs. Of course, after watching it, you may want to take an axe to certain people in the business, but that’s a separate matter…