Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Babette's Feast

        Culture is normally defined as "the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group", but what I think should be added to the list is design. Just by looking at an object, building, or space that someone creates from a certain culture tells a million stories. If an image is worth a thousand words, just image how many would be used for an entire building!
        In Babette's Feast, we see a conservative village, with minimal houses, roads, food, and color. All the houses look the same and nothing is personal. This is a reflection of the society. For instance, the Puritan society believed that having excess or anything you don't NEED is a sin and against God. Because of this thought, there were people walking, not driving, people dressing in greys, blacks, and tans, not our colorful patterns we have today, and people living in the bare minimal environments. The lights would be simple and non-electrical, the houses would have simple designs, and the atmosphere would be non-existent.
        Babette was from France, a place that is known for the relaxed life with expensive delicacies such a wine, caviar, and snails. She then moved to a speck in Denmark, working everyday for free, and eating food that has no flavor. To this blan culture, she wanted to introduce some of her culture. Not only did she consider the food as her culture, but also the atmosphere, the objects, and the feelings. The china, the napkins, the glasses, all aspects of her culture. The lighting, the wine, the sparkles off the silverware, all what she wanted to convey of France. It is obvious to tell what Babette feels are the most important and dominant features of her culture and her past life by the objects she chose to introduce to a completely different place and way of life.

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