Tin KB Coffee Co Pictures
“All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.” So says Isak Dinesen.
Isak Dinesen was born April 17th, 1885 as Karen Dinesen. A woman brought up in her own description, “as a woman equipped to do nothing more than marry.” Born into a world of privilege, she would find the landscape of societies’ expectations, bleak and barren to her developing intellect and sense of adventure. She would marry the Swedish Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke in 1913 after a failed love affair with his brother. Together they moved to Africa to find fortune and adventure. She ran the coffee farm while he ran safaris for the rich and famous. It was there in the silence of the African landscape that Karen found her voice. A voice birthed from the mystery of African folklore and a longing for an American landscape that her father had brought back stories of. In the quiet of the evening, she would find herself entertaining guests and there she would sit, smoking her cigarettes, and imbuing the African night with magic.
My personal love affair with Isak Dinesen’s stories started shortly after my own first failed marriage and I watched a movie called Babette’s Feast. It’s a simple story of a great chef in exile from her homeland and sent to live in a religious community many miles away from the bright lights and refined culture of Paris. Her new family, two spinster sisters, instructed her how to cook the simple fish porridge they ate every day and that God is pleased with sacrifice. But in this community of religion and sacrifice Babette found a meanness and meagerness to their existence. The religious community had become judgmental and small minded- to Babette’s thinking; they had forgotten how to love. When Babette unexpectedly comes into a great deal of money, she chooses sacrifice, but her sacrifice is not one of self-denial for it’s own sake, but rather a sacrifice for love and to do for these people what she has done for all the great people of Europe. She takes the money and buys the ingredients for a great meal; a meal to be prepared in honor of the two sister’s father; who was before his death, the religious leader of the community. The entire community was invited, and Babette would be able to show her gratitude for the kindness she had been shown.
When Babette is asked why she would spend all her winnings on one meal, she simply replied, "that all an artist ever wants, is the chance to do her best"; and so she does. The simple town’s people, who have never eaten such delight, look, at first suspiciously on the extravagant meal. However, as the evening continues and the meal is consumed, something magical happens. All the love that was put into the preparation, begins to change the simple town folk, into loving neighbors once again. Once mean spirited and unforgiving, the town’s people go through a transformation, a transformation that only a true and intimate contact with love can provide.
Babette's Feast was first published in Women’s Day Magazine here in America and made into a movie in 1987 under the direction of Gabriel Axel. I first saw the film in 1991 and so began my journey into the mind and magic of Isak Dinesen. She is of course most well known for her book “Out of Africa” made into a film in 1985 directed by Sydney Pollack staring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
You may be asking yourself at about this time, why have we gone to such lengths to tell you about Isak Dinesen, when you have visited to find out about Tin KB Coffee Co Pictures. First, to simply tell you who she was, of her great legacy, and to inform the curious of the stories that I hope to tell. Not only did Isak Dinesen leave behind a treasure trove of short stories, left untold by cinematic magic, but also there are many other stories written by women about woman, still left untold in cinematic history.
Secondly I named the company after Karen Blixen. Tin KB Coffee Co is itself an acronym that stands for “This is Not Karen Blixen’s Coffee Co.” Karen’s Coffee Company was sold in 1931 when it failed to make a profit. The aim for Tin KB Coffee Co Pictures is the exact opposite. The name is a reflection of my desire to be successful and turn a profit. Something Blixen's company could not achieve.
My name is LB McGill and I would like to tell these stories; as a filmmaker and artist. I hope you will join Tin KB Coffee Co. Pictures in bringing these tales and other great stories to the big screen.
Love & Blessings~ L.B.