When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and... See full summary »
Per Christian Ellefsen,
Marit Pia Jacobsen
Elisabeth leaves her abusive and drunken husband Rolf, she packs her bags, takes the kids and goes to her brother Göran. The year is 1975 and Göran lives in a commune called Together. ... See full summary »
A film poem inspired by the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. A story about our need for love, our confusion, greatness and smallness and, most of all, our vulnerability. It is a story with many... See full summary »
Bengt C.W. Carlsson
Svend and Bjarne work for a butcher in a small Danish town. Fed up with their boss' arrogance, they decide to start their own butcher shop. After dismal beginnings, an unfortunate accident ... See full summary »
Anders Thomas Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
In post war Sweden it was discovered that every year, an average housewife walks the equivalent number of miles as the distance between Stockholm and Congo, while preparing her family meals. So the Home Research Institute sent out eighteen observers to a rural district of Norway to map out the kitchen routines of single men. The researchers were on twenty-four-hour call, and sat in special strategically placed chairs in each kitchen. Furthermore, under no circumstances were the researchers to be spoken to, or included in the kitchen activities. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
At the beginning of the film, Malmberg (a Swede) becomes ill after having to drive on the right side of the road in Norway. Today both countries drive on the right. In 1967, Sweden switched to the right because making two versions of cars like Volvos and Saabs for domestic and foreign sales was inefficient. Also, there are many unguarded, unmarked border crossings points (unlike the crossing in the film); people would not realize which country they were in and sometimes ended up driving on the wrong side. See more »
As a result of a study in the 1950s in which efficiency experts at the Home Research Institute observed the kitchen habits of Swedish housewives to come up with a better workspace design, eighteen men are transported in caravans to farms in Norway to observe the cooking habits of Norwegian single men. Kitchen Stories, a quirky comedy co-written by Swedish director Bent Hamer and Norway's Jörgen Bergmark, depicts the relationship between two elderly single men, a relationship in which the observer ends up being the observed. The film is similar, in its deadpan humor and offbeat characters, to the work of Aki Kaurismäki, but without the Finnish director's overbearing self-consciousness.
The scientists wear white lab coats and carry clipboards, seemingly poised for an ET-like invasion. The observers, however, must live outside the homes of their subjects in small trailers and are not allowed to talk, drink, or otherwise interact with their subjects. Some, however, are not willing subjects. One of the scientists, Folke, a Swede (Tomas Norström), draws Isak (Joachim Calmeyer), an antisocial Norwegian farmer used to living in solitude. Isak at first refuses to let Folke into his house, resentful that the horse he was promised in return for his participation turned out to be a figurine. Folke, however, eventually gains access to the kitchen and sits every day perched in his high observation chair, recording Isak's every movement like the Lord High Executioner until Isak decides to take his hot plate up to his bedroom to frustrate his unwelcome guest.
The sly Isak drills a hole through the upstairs bedroom floor and now secretly watches Folke in the kitchen. When they start conversing, each man insists on speaking his own language (not shown by the subtitles) as if to doggedly maintain their separate identities. Gradually they become friends, breaking through the barriers in their life that have imposed a limiting solitude. They begin first by drinking coffee in the morning, sharing a bit of their background, and then celebrating Isak's birthday with cake and bourbon whiskey. Their interaction, of course, is against the rules of the study, and there are consequences for Folke. His life, however, acquires new meaning the more willing he is to take risks and share himself openly. Kitchen Stories is a small film, but one that is warmhearted and thoroughly enjoyable, a work that celebrates the small pleasures in just being alive without trying to be profound or seduce us with blatant emotional appeals.
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