I know I’ve done some pretty out there movies in my reviews, but this week I’m really going out there. I’m going so far into the land of film that there is no longer a map and you are on your own. This film is one that probably only a handful of people have seen. This film was probably never in the theater, or on TV. The only place I could find it was on Amazon. For your utmost sciolistic entertainment, the film I’m reviewing today is the 1946 classic, Arranging the Buffet Supper. I found this film on the web site, Internet Archives which holds a large collection of old films and user made films free to download and use. When I found the film Arranging the Buffet Supper, I wasn’t looking for a film on how to set up a buffet table but films related to the subject of totalitarianism so it is actually quite proper that I found this film under this category.
In this film we are shown a woman named June who needs help arranging a buffet table because she is obviously not intelligent enough or not creative enough to arrange a buffet super which, “.as a whole is designed as a simple meal which can be eaten simply.”
If you need help setting up a simple meal then you must have a lower brain cell count, or she is just one of the sheep following the orders of the totalitarian dictator.
June goes to her elder who holds a vast knowledge to help her. June needs all the help she can get since it would be her worst nightmare to be embarrassed in front of her guest by having an inappropriate buffet table.
And worse yet, her elder would be very disappointed.
Her elder is very strict with June. When June placed her centerpiece of fruit a few too many inches to the left, the elder told her she was wrong.
How dare you place that fruit centerpiece two inches to far to the left! Everything must be the way the higher power says it should be!
As the student and teacher are setting the table, the elder informs June that her choice of candleholders is wrong. Who cares if June loves the candleholders and if she was thinking about using them all day. The narrator informs us why this is such a bad choice, “since candles are NOT to be the principle light they should NOT be placed on the table at all.”
How stupid do you have to be to realize that if candles are not the principle light source then they should not be used! Who cares if they look nice, “Each rule of etiquette has a logical explanation of this kind.”
Still under the totalitarian rule, June serves her guests rolls the “proper way.” These rolls are all ready hot and buttered. Obviously June and the elder do not care whether or not the guests will want a hot roll which is buttered.
What if the guest does not like a hot roll or butter?
This happens again when the elder tells June “for older people there will be tea or coffee.” Once again people are made to want what they are given. It is not important whether or not the older people even like tea or coffee because they are supposed to like it. It is expected of them to like it.
This does not seem like a very good move for etiquette since they are not thinking about giving their guests options, only about what the higher power wants. June will set this table how the elder pleases because if you disobey the law of the higher power than there will be ramifications!
In the end when the table is set the narrator informs us that, “June can be confident and proud of her arrangements. She has a pleasing and proper meal prepared for her guests.”
And if she did not follow the law of the elder than it would be a poor buffet table, disappointing everyone. Especially since the elder tells June that this is, “the soul of etiquette. The proof of courtesy and friendliness.”
If June tried any other way or tried doing something different or tried to go against the system then she would be made to feel ashamed of herself. Now that’s not a very good practice of etiquette, courtesy or friendliness now is it.
This film shows us that we must obey the higher power or we will be doing everything wrong. There is only one way of doing something and if you try to do anything different than you will be punished.
If June did not follow the instructions to make a “proper” buffet table then she obviously would not have a buffet table that she could be proud of or held the ideals of etiquette. This film is a fine example of the government trying to push down the little man and tell him what he must to do because there is only one way and that is the way of the higher power.