DIRECTED BY: Cliff Bogart, Kyle Bogart
FEATURING: Mark Scheibmeir, Sydney Andrews, Stephen Taylor Fry
PLOT: Virgil, unhappy with his job as an assistant to a taste-tester in a flavor synthesis lab
and struggling with the pressures of a long-distance relationship with his fiancée, risks throwing everything away to dedicate himself to making a perfect goat cheese.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Despite dream sequences and comic departures from reality, “weird” is too strong a word to use for this ever so slightly exotic concoction. “Recommended” is also too strong a word, unless you add the modifier “mildly.”
COMMENTS: Artois the Goat is a film that captures all the thrills, excitement and romance of cheesemaking: milking the goats, separating the curds from the whey, aging the final product. You might think there’s not a lot of thrills and romance in making artisanal goat cheese, but be assured that the Bogart brothers milk the subject for all it’s worth. (That’s the closest I’m going to come to making a cheesy pun about this movie). Actually, since the film is about following your passion, it could have just as easily been built around beer brewing, dollhouse building, or cannabis cultivation; but none of those other crafts would produce quite the same blend of snobbishness and ridiculousness as a film about cheesemaking, or appeal as deeply to the Food Channel demographic. Quips aside, the cheesecrafting side of the film is somewhat educational and engaging, appealing to a certain “how do they make that stuff anyway?” fascination. The thrust of the story is Virgil’s transition from a timid young adult who can’t commit to either a career or a woman to a fully-functioning adult who gets both. Like its bespectacled hero (who sleeps in a bed surrounded by walls of books but is never seen reading anything but cheesemaking manuals), the movie is bookish without being intellectual. It’s set in a world of smart, responsible, confused postgraduates who are neither hipsters nor yuppies, burnouts nor successes. They have the education and taste to recognize the good life, but not the courage to seize it. These twee characters and their sub-existential crises are a bit cloying, but thankfully, the movie frequently sets aside reality for Continue reading CAPSULE: ARTOIS THE GOAT (2009)