Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Food Party's Thu Tran

The artist and actress behind comedy's zaniest new show reveals her choices.

by | June 19, 2009 | Comments

Thu Tran


: best described as a Julia Child-hosted cooking show, if the
set were designed by Michel Gondry, the episodes directed by Tim and Eric, and
Julia Child replaced by a diminutive Asian bohemian. Hosted and created by
27-year old Brooklyn artist Thu Tran, Food Party gained cult status as a
web series and has retained all of its DIY charms in its transition to cable
television (it’s currently airing on IFC through July 14th every
Tuesday at 11:15PM and you can watch
clips on their site
). Every week on Food Party, viewers old and new are
treated to a marathon of day-glo cardboard sets, lewd puppets, colorful
characters played by friends and crew, food solutions to bizarre problems
(marriage, pregnancy, murder, appeasing cave spirits), and Tran’s unsettlingly
tranquil line deliveries. Tran is a rare female presence in post-Adult Swim
stoner comedy, and Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Tran from New York to get her Five
Favorite Films.

Ziegfeld Follies (1946,
57% Tomatometer)

Ziegfeld Follies
this old Hollywood musical variety show type of thing. Really epic Technicolor.
There’s an Esther Williams thing in there where she’s just swimming and being
beautiful. It’s a beauty-based film. All the money wasn’t popped into special
effects, obviously. It was popped into building really grand sets, really great
costumes, really, really good makeup. Like, whatever.

I saw that in college. One of my friends showed it to me in his apartment. I was
like, “What the f— is this?” And then I bought the DVD and [now] I toss it in
once a month, at least in the background. I don’t really actually follow the
movie straight through. I just kinda fast-forward to the parts that look cool.

Terminator 2:
Judgment Day
(1991, 97% Tomatometer)

Terminator 2: Judgement Day
watched it when I was pretty young. I don’t even remember how old I was. 9 or 10
or 11 or something like that. [Watching Terminator 2 for the first time
also became] the first time I had feelings [towards] boys. The first crush I had
on a boy was Edward Furlong. He was a punky little brat and was so cool. So
rebellious. Rides his little dirt bike and hangs out at the arcade and steals
money from ATMs. Hangs out with Arnold Schwarzenegger and teaches him about
morals, and how to cry. “I know now why you cry. But it’s something I can never
do.” [Laughs.]

Hackers (1995,
37% Tomatometer)

a movie I’ve easily seen a million times. It’s my standby movie. Where if I want
to watch and movie and don’t really want to think too hard. I know the villain
character in there is really, really awful. It’s a weird movie. [But] I think
like it the most because it has a really great style. I love the rollerblading
kids who think they’re so badass. And they have that really cool computer club,
and café, and dance club.

(1986, 100% Tomatometer)


obvious influence on Food Party. That was the first food film I ever saw.
It was really exciting for me to see someone focus a whole movie on food, you
know? I’ve never seen that before. I like making my own art and [that is
‘s] subject matter, but with food. But I also like the tangents that
it takes. Basically there’s a main story, and there’s a love story. And the
subplots are really incredibly visual, too. Two lovers are passing raw egg yolk
back and forth. Then he’s, like, dipping her boob in fresh egg whites. There’s a
sausage fight. It’s a really joyful movie.

Back to the Future Part II
(1989, 63% Tomatometer)

Back to the Future Part II
fun movie. My brother always argued this had the weakest storyline because Marty
McFly is selfish and greedy and it’s about a sports almanac. It became a very
destructive element. But I think it has really exciting visuals. The
imagination. The props. The hoverboard, the fashion. Those shoes. That jacket
that shrank and blow-dried. And then his cool hat. It’s just another one of
those rad movies. That’s another one I can easily watch over and over and over
again.I thoroughly enjoy the visual elements [of movies].

Between Terminator 2 and Back to the Future II, like, the logic
they create, like, time travel…it makes no f—ing sense! You know, John
Connor sends his father back into the past to f— his mom, what the f— is
going on? But, then, it makes perfect sense. You just buy into it.

Catch Thu Tran’s
Food Party
on IFC every Tuesday at 11:15 PM ET?PT. For more Five Favorite Films, visit our archive.