Ricotta chard tart with roasted peppers, olives, and a yeasted cornmeal crust

Ricotta tart with red peppers, chard and black olives

Ricotta tart with red peppers, chard and black olives

There’s a particular pleasure to watching Temporada de Patos that’s hard to define. As I was thinking about it this morning, it came to me…it’s like making a friend, or maybe even falling in love. Which is fitting because friendship and love and the blurry lines between the two are at the core of the film. From the opening credits you like the look of it–aesthetically it’s just your type. Simple, spare, a little bit rundown, but beautifully so. You watch it for a while, and it seems funny and smart, a little bit off-kilter, but in a way you like. And then you hang out with it, and have conversations, and everything it says is charming but sincere. Not “hey, baby, I’m so sincerious,” sincere, but honest and uncalculated and heartfelt. You get a peep at its music collection and it’s all kind of weird but good. Unexpected, but you feel it’s the absolute perfect thing at the perfect time. You keep waiting for it to let you down and say something off-putting, or start telling a story that’s overly dramatic or just doesn’t make sense, but that never happens. It all just clicks, softly and almost imperceptibly. And then you don’t want your time with it to end, you want to spend more time with it, and you think about it after it’s gone, and realize that it’s much more complicated than you realize. That’s what it was like with Temporada de Patos, the first feature from Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke. It’s one of those rare movies where everything seems to come together perfectly, every aspect is thoughtfully combined and there are no missteps. The plot is very simple. Two fourteen-year-old boys, Moko and Flama, have been friends since childhood. They plan to spend a Sunday together at Flama’s apartment when his mom is away. They have all their supplies, soda, video games, money for pizza…and then the power goes out. The pizza delivery man, Ulises, shows up, and they insist their pizza should be free because he didn’t deliver it on time, but he says the deal is off because the power is out and he couldn’t take the elevator. He won’t leave till they pay, and they won’t pay. Their neighbor, Rita asks to borrow their oven to bake a cake. And that’s pretty much it, that’s the story, the story of one beautifully ordinary but unforgettable day. People grow and change and learn about themselves, and forget and start over. Relationships shift, slowly and quietly, and then shift back again. It’s simple, it’s funny as hell, it’s sad but hopeful, and it’s one of the best new movies I’ve seen in years.

Ricotta tart with chard, roasted red peppers and black olives

Ricotta tart with chard, roasted red peppers and black olives

This tart is a bit like a fancy pizza, and a very delicious one! It has a yeasted cormeal crust, which is very crispy and flavorful. It has a ricotta custard, with mozzarella, and it has sauteed chard, garlic, shallots, and rosemary. Then it’s topped with roasted red peppers and black olives. Salty, sweet, comforting, cheesy, crispy, and flecked with greens. What could be better than that?

Here are a couple of songs from the movie…Puto – Molotov. O Pato by Natalia Lafourcade. And Panorama by Alejandro Rosso.

Continue reading