Didn’t you just love to go on fieldtrips as a kid? Fieldtrips are, without the slightest doubt, some of my fondest, most treasured memories from my school years, from kindergarden all the way through until I sadly had to say goodbay to them in college. Back in high school, we used to get two daytrips to the International film festival in Gijón, one with our English teacher, to watch a movie in English, another with the French one, to watch a movie in French. I always looked forward to those movie trips, and that might be why every year I get so excited about the festival. I’m currently living in Gijón, so of course the gent and I got tickets for a few features, which I find is usually a hit-or-miss situation, since most movies look good on paper and you don’t know what you’re actually gonna find, but I’m glad to say we made mostly good choices.
I ended up attending 8 movies in a pretty varied and eclectic selection, including films such as Youth in revolt, a juvenile comedy taken up above others of the kind by Michael Cera’s characterization of the nerdy hopelessly in love guy, the appearance of Steve Buscemi in a smaller role and overall fine performances by the whole cast; Un amour the jeneusse, which combined greater-than-life adolescent infatuation Splendor in the grass-style with some Paris and architecture, and I found rather moving, or Megacities, documenting several gut-wrenching stories of survival in some of the Earth’s hugest metropolis.
Last Saturday was the last day of the festival, and since we were going downtown for a couple of movies that evening, we decided it was a great time for hot chocolate. We went to a pastry shop named Balbona; they make all kinds of sweet creations and have a catering business too, we entered the shop to several tempting vitrines showcasing line upon line of delicious looking confections, chocolates and petits fours. We picked our battles quickly, as we didn’t have too much time before heading to the theater (which was really close) if we wanted to get good seats.
Sacher torte and chocolate mousse ball covered in chocolate ganache for him.
Chocolate-hazelnut cake and a chocolate mousse ball covered in white chocolate ganache for me.
And hot chocolate for the two of us.
It was really good hot chocolate indeed. As we say in Spain, let things be clear and chocolate thick. This one was not only thick, but you could also tell it was made with fine chocolate, for its taste was truly exquisite.
The other stuff was really good too; supple ganaches, soft, creamy mousses punctured by crunchy and cakelike bases for some texture and support, and deep flavored chocolate cake layers. There isn’t much more one could ask for. Except maybe a good movie afterwards, so we levitated our way out of there and into the theater, where we watched “No et moi“, a film about a 13 year old really bright, kind of lonely girl who, after doing a school paper on homelessness, ends up giving shelter to a young girl she meets while doing some research. I liked the movie overall, although I couldn’t stand the homeless girl character and found her extremely nerve-racking.
We had a short break, of which we took advantage to eat a chocolate palmier.
(that picture is just for reference, as those aren’t the ones we ate that day. There’s quite a bit of chocolate palmier love in our lives).
And back into the theater we went, to top off the night with the one movie I liked best of all the ones I saw (which was pretty lucky, if you ask me); “Miss Bala“. Loved the story, the photography, the atmosphere… only complaint was I couldn’t make out half of what was spoken and would have really needed some subtitles. I seriously had a much harder time understanding the dialogues than I did with the previous one (which was obviously in French). But anyway, Miss Bala seems to have been featured at several big time festivals this year, and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
And then, after a long round of applause, the curtain was drawn for the night, and until next year’s edition which would make for the festival’s respectable 50th birthday.
So I’d say this was a pretty sweet Saturday night. Hope to be back soon with a recipe…
Are you a film festival lover/goer? Any amazing findings you’d like to share? And, more importantly, do you believe in hot chocolate and pastries as the perfect pre movie warm up? I most certainly do!