A documentary about a Zen priest-chef, How to Cook Your Life serves up plenty of vegetarian food but too little enlightenment. German director Doris Dörrie (Men) profiles Edward Espe Brown, a baby-boomer Buddhist who gained renown for The Tassajara Bread Book in the 1970s and now gives culinary instruction, leavened with koans, to earnest practitioners worldwide. Sure, there’s an obvious frisson in watching Brown, so serene in the meditation hall, turn suddenly waspish in the kitchen. But Dörrie’s playful film never penetrates the gauzy scrim of Brown’s philosophizing to get at the man himself; this life is woefully underdone.
Friday October 26 2007