Yesterday, Sept. 26, The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival kicked off their Film Feast program with Taiwanese film “Zone Pro Site: A Moveable Feast.” The Film Feast program is a collection of international selections that highlight the mouthwatering side of cooking via film. “Zone Pro Site” undoubtedly delivers in mouthwatering scenes, and yet it may leave a bad taste in the mouths of some film-goers.
“Zone Pro Site” is about an aspiring model, Wan, who reluctantly returns to the family culinary business after falling in debt with two thugs. The family patriarch and driving force in the family restaurant passed away and, without his expertise, Wan and her mother struggle to keep the family business afloat, let alone dig Wan out of debt. However, the first national cooking competition offers a large cash prize so Wan must go to great lengths to channel her father’s culinary prowess while looking good doing it.
One can’t get five minutes into this film or even watch the trailer without taking note of its unique style. “Zone Pro Site” is a very bright, fun, colorful film with an extremely theatrical element that pops in and out throughout the story. Quick cuts, flashbacks, and fantasy scenes make for a fun, frenzied experience, much like that of a children’s television show.
Similarly, the humor of “Zone Pro Site” is very fast, zany and, at times, random. It relies heavily on physical comedy and what otherwise can feel like an inside joke that a select few are in on. This unique, eccentric style of humor combined with the speedy pacing of the film make for a high energy experience that caters to a specific audience.
This being said, “Zone Pro Site” fits perfectly in The Milwaukee Film Festival’s Film Feast program, as a good portion of the film highlights ultra clear, zoomed-in, slow motion cooking shots. This film will make you want to visit Taiwan and try the local cuisine from something as simple as scrambled tomato and eggs to a more adventurous dish like a twist on the turducken using pork, turtle, and chicken…the turporken.
So even if the style and humor of “Zone Pro Site: A Moveable Feast” don’t suit your tastes, the culinary aspect is sure to stimulate the taste buds. The overall feel of the film is that of a very cute children’s romantic comedy with a zany culinary Taiwanese gameshow twist. If anything is certain, this is not a film you want to see on an empty stomach.
“Zone Pro Site: A Moveable Feast” has its only other Milwaukee Film Fest screening on Oct. 6 at the Fox Bay Cinema-Grill at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available online or at the Milwaukee Film Box Office.