Directed by Gabriel Axel • 1987 • Denmark
Starring Stéphane Audran, Birgitte Federspiel, Bodil Kjer
At once a rousing paean to artistic creation, a delicate evocation of divine grace, and the ultimate film about food, the Oscar-winning BABETTE’S FEAST is a deeply beloved treasure of cinema. Directed by Gabriel Axel and adapted from a story by Isak Dinesen, it is the lovingly layered tale of a French housekeeper with a mysterious past who brings quiet revolution in the form of one exquisite meal to a circle of starkly pious villagers in late nineteenth-century Denmark. BABETTE’S FEAST combines earthiness and reverence in an indescribably moving depiction of sensual pleasure that goes to your head like fine champagne.
Director Gabriel Axel began his career working for Danish television in the early 1950s. He struggled for fifteen years to bring to the screen Isak Dinesen’s short story “Babette’s Feast,” considered unfilmable. This interview was conducted at the Karen Blixen Museum in Rungsted, Denmark, in May ...
Before BABETTE’S FEAST, Stéphane Audran was probably best known for her performances in films by her former husband Claude Chabrol and her role in Luis Buñuel’s THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE. In this 2012 interview, she discusses taking the part of Babette and the challenges of working in...
In this 2013 video essay on BABETTE’S FEAST, filmmaker Michael Almereyda charts the path from Isak Dinesen’s story to Gabriel Axel’s film, taking detours along the way into art history, philosophy, and the author’s life in Africa. Actor Lori Singer narrates.
In this feature-length documentary from 1995, director Christian Braad Thomsen weaves together a portrait of Danish author Karen Blixen—who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen—through interviews with her friends and students, and archival television appearances by the writer.
In this interview, conducted in April 2013, sociology professor Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, the author of “Accounting for Taste: The Triumph of French Cuisine,” discusses the importance of cuisine to the French national identity, and its poignant evocation in BABETTE’S FEAST.