This and that coexist in some of film’s most sexually tense and anticipatory scenes. And their compatibility barely begs explanation: humans have hunger for both, both produce physical pleasure, eating nurtures intimacy and... mouths. Mouths are wet and hot and deeply suggestive. They are the cerebral, irreplaceable component.
Food normally serves (or is served) as either foreplay for the main event or an inferential tool. Sometimes we never even see the main event—just bacon being fried by a tired lover the next morning. These five scenes will arouse appetites of varying kinds. Molto bene.
9 1/2 weeks
Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger order a tasting plate for two—only it’s the DIY kind. Seated on the kitchen floor before an open fridge, Kim samples various food items: maraschino cherries—the perfect prey for wet, parted lips, quivering jelly and fresh milk, not-so-curiously akin to other (udder) white emitted substances.
Eventually, she offers her tongue—slowly, like a draw bridge—for MR to drip sticky honey onto. Then, upon her legs; her upper thighs. Then his hands climb… and then the whole thing.
Like Water for Chocolate
“Her whole being had dissolved into the rose sauce. Into the quails. And into every aroma of the meal. That’s how she invaded Pedro’s body: voluptuously, ardently fragrant and utterly sensual.” And so goes the verbose, overly flavoured description of a climactic point in the movie. Not a sexual climax, but the point at which Tita’s meal, imbued with mystical lust ingredients (truly), is received by the object of her desires.
Food or no food: a devout, unbending gaze will always amount to exciting pre-game. In the gastronomical scene from Tony Richardson's 1963 comedy, indulgence and restraint collide. For the wealth of food that is thrust between lips, courters Albert Finney and Joyce Redman resist the desire to touch too soon. They eat languorously at first, working up to a frisson of messy, very nearly vulgar shovelling, crumbs and juices residing on their chins. Soon after, they leave the table.
Lists like these scarcely omit Juzo Itami’s Tampopo. Just as, I imagine, people in the real world scarcely dare re-enact the highly venturesome, tightrope-teetering scene in which a pair of lovers pass a raw egg between their mouths.
Eat Drink, Man Woman
Ang Lee’s renowned work is a more implicit evocation of sensuality rather than being definitely about bonking. Specifically, the opening scene. The movie is in fact, very familial and its themes are not particularly sexualised. However, the glistening smorgasbord of edible jewels at the beginning is presented in such a precise way that it verges on pornographic.