Certified Amaretto Pera
In the last few weeks I saw Les Mis with my kids and Lincoln with my wife. The billionbucks movies on the big-big screen. But this afternoon, while I was gathering marzipan and amaretto liquor and the pears I ordered form Bella Viva Orchards, all in preparation for making Amaretto Pear Granola tomorrow (yes, you can order now) it dawned on me that if I had to choose between seeing one of them again or Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy, which I originally saw about a year ago, in bed, on my iphone, (and which, incidentally, also inspired my first ever granola film review, though the genre hasn't really seemed to catch on)… well, I’d go for Certified Copy. In a heartbeat. I’m tempted to watch it tonight. What time is it anyway?
So in honor of re-runs that might get better with age, I'm going to republish my own granola movie review. Maybe it will inspire a few granola fans to check out a great film. I’ve edited the review slightly… but here it is:
You don’t need to tell me that it’s a bad habit. I can’t help it: I climb in bed, half-planning to go to sleep, but then plug in my earbuds, and end up watching a Netscape movie on my iphone. This week it was Kiarostami’s Certified Copy (about as awful a title as Abbas Kiarostami is a wonderful name; and bravo to Netflicks for actually making some interesting stuff available for streaming, although who are the jerks that gave it 3.5 stars?--Juliette Binoche deserves at least that just for being Juliette Binoche). This is a little film. No crashes. No gunfights. Perfect for an iphone with earbuds in bed.
I won’t give too much away in case you watch it, but it does have a long-haired texting teenager, a mediocre bottle of wine, a golden tree before which superstitious and impatient young lovers say their vows. There is waiting and wondering, critiques and interruptions, originals and fakes, walking together and lot of lagging behind. Some memories remembered, others forgotten or lost. There are young lovers and old, believers and skeptics, and one piece of unsought but remarkably astute fatherly advice (this seemed so un-European) from a stranger. (Actually, now that I think of it, there’s some unsought motherly intuition as well—how gratifying when the wise get to share their wisdom, if only by the way they walk and hold each other up.) There’s a secret little prayer (though it’s overseen) whispered in the same church where Juliette removes her bra. (This astounded me: I know next to nothing about Kiarostami, but since when did film-makers start portraying the church as a place to ask for help and experience a little liberation! God bless him.)
In each scene, whatever’s going on in the background seems to be what matters most. The foreground—the action, the plot—keeps getting in the way. Even on a 3.5 inch screen.
What else: A couple naked statues in a fountain. Three languages. Three or four dark flights of stairs. A marriage bed. A happy accordion. (While this is no Last Tango in Paris--certainly there’s no wild nameless romanceless sex--there is a top floor, and a Frenchwoman and a Englishman in Italy.) An open window. Bells tolling. An implicit invitation to go ahead and ask for whom they toll.)
There are no refugees, but perhaps all transplanted people carry some of their loneliness with them. Kiarostami is عباس کیارستمی from Iran. He seems to understand displacement.
And no granola. But the reason I bring all this up is that I’ve dared imagine that our January granola wouldn’t be out of place in that little Italian Courtyard.
We’ve named it Amaretto Pear.
Di Saronna Amaretto Pera if you prefer.
Delicate, soft; the sadness of bitter almonds, the sweetness of pears, the wisdom of almond oil. (And also a few plums, and marzipan to keep them company.) It comes with artwork by Becky Joy (who gave us her permission to reproduce for semi-commercial purposes—her beautiful picture). Check her out here. Clearly I’m getting carried away. I will stop. It’s close to midnight. I’m heading to bed. It's late. I have my phone.
One small piece of unsought advice: we made a first batch of 125 pounds, but 80 went out in today’s mail to granola-of-the-month subscribers. You can do the math. We’ll start selling at the farmer’s markets tomorrow. Perhaps we’ll make more. No promises.