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Kitchen Stories (2003)
"Salmer fra kjøkkenet" (original title)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  17 January 2003 (Norway)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,652 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 41 user | 76 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A scientific observer's job of observing an old cantankerous single man's kitchen habits is complicated by his growing friendship with him.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joachim Calmeyer ...
Isak Bjørvik
Tomas Norström ...
Folke Nilsson
Bjørn Floberg ...
Grant
Reine Brynolfsson ...
Malmberg
Sverre Anker Ousdal ...
Dr. Jack Zac. Benjaminsen
...
Dr. Ljungberg
Gard B. Eidsvold ...
Bakkerman (as Gard Eidsvold)
Lennart Jähkel ...
Green
Trond Brænne ...
Ordforer
Bjørn Jenseg ...
Vaktmester
...
Vaktmesterassistent
Karin Lunden ...
Svensk selskapsdame
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Päivi Laakso ...
Finsk selskapsdame
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 January 2003 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Psalms from the Kitchen  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$48,103 (USA) (20 February 2004)

Gross:

$349,315 (USA) (4 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Throughout the film, Isak speaks Norwegian and Folke speaks Swedish; this is true even when they are having conversations with each other. See more »


Soundtracks

Flickorna i Småland
Performed by Delta Rhythm Boys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solitude takes on a new meaning as the observed and observer converge in "Kitchen Stories"
1 March 2004 | by (sf, usa) – See all my reviews

The title may not be alluring. In fact, "Kitchen Stories" could be misleading to some that it'd be more of a women movie. Far from it - though it all may have started with the 'dazzling' multi-tetrahedrons of a chart that the self-satisfied scientist boasts of demonstrating findings on women's activity traffic in a kitchen. The snappy music sets me quite at ease in spite of anticipating reading subtitles - the melodic and light drum beats, chorus behind main vocal, sax/trumpet/trombone sounds - it's easy swinging tunes, indeed. The official site from filmsdulosange.fr gives you a feel of the 50's and a sampling of the jingle-like jazzy tune.

"Kitchen Stories" is an absolutely delightful piece. It's about a meticulously organized scientific research in the '50's on studying the kitchen behavior of single Norwegian men by assigned researchers from Sweden, in the name of advancement, of course - to improve kitchen activity efficiency. Sounds awfully dry? How can watching two men watching each other be interesting? Ah, to the genius of director Bent Hamer, who co-wrote and co-produced with Jörgen Bergmark, the film is simple enjoyment and relaxing fun. It's the discerning humor of observing human behavior of all parties involved: neighbor and neighborhood doctor, researcher and target subject, boss man and his boss - it's a film to relish and bemused upon.

Having had graphic arts, any pattern catches my eye. The opening scene - the caravan of the nine trailers each with an interesting form seen at the top of the trailer presented quite an engaging sight. Towards the end, one would realize - ah, it's that indispensable high umpire chair! Truly a well-made film and down to earth charming in all its naturalness - yes, engaging even with all the 'silent,' 'quiet,' 'observing' scenes - within and without the house.

It's also intriguing: what's happening elsewhere/upstairs while Folke Nilsson sat so quietly alone in the dark in that kitchen observation station of Isak's; what's Isak's thinking while he's piping; Grant the neighbor, what's he up to watching without a word in the cold darkness. And in the name of science, we are given insights to the 'body electric' static radio tuning.what am I talking about? Ha, that's another smilingly amusing reason to enjoy "Kitchen Stories." Thanks to the subtitles by Nick Norris, we get steady doses of chuckle and bemusing smiles throughout the film. The two main leads, Joachim Calmeyer as Isak and Tomas Norström as Folke, are fantastically 'wry' in their own self-bemused way, complementing each other's performance.

Not everything's indoors per se, there are impressive snowy landscapes, light of dawn and dead of night scenes by cinematographer Philip Øgaard. There's also a touching side story revolves around a faithful companion of a horse, and an anticipated red horse. It's full of little sprinkles of surprises and details, down to the specific food that Folke likes. Do enjoy this film. Bemused is the word repeatedly reinforced.


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Question for Norwegian or Swedish speakers Jonathan Dore
Ambiguous Ending? x-moose2
What make is the brown car in the movie? jeanne-47
/theme of movie/how many men left at the end? bobmorris
Soundtrack available? Liendale
A moving and political film Rupert_B
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