A scientific observer's job of observing an old cantankerous single man's kitchen habits is complicated by his growing friendship with him.A scientific observer's job of observing an old cantankerous single man's kitchen habits is complicated by his growing friendship with him.A scientific observer's job of observing an old cantankerous single man's kitchen habits is complicated by his growing friendship with him.
The horror derives from the fact that since the thirties the Swedish politicians seriously have believed that they were able to shape society with reason and logic. Thus in the movie, there is the "Institute of private homes research", the object being to develop the most logically structured kitchen, adapted to the average movements of the "normal" house wife.
This excellent movie made in Norway, the neighbouring country of Sweden - which up to 1905 was submitted in a state union with Sweden - makes a very convincing statement about the "swedish mentality", that is how our welfare state has developed during the past 70 years.
The growing relationship between the aging Norwegian farmer and the archetypical swedish bureaucrat Nilsson. Nilssons job is to observe his delinquent while he is performing the daily chores in the country kitchen, is moving and, I think, quite significant if you're interested in the nature of mankind - one of Nilssons colleagues comes at him with the a priceless line of speach: "How the f**k can one know anything about ones fellow man, if not speaking to him?" It needs to be said - the obeservators are strongly advised not to interfere with their "objects of research".
In other words; at one level of Salmer fra kjokkenet provides you with great laughs, if you recognize the type who's main interest is to grasp control of your behavior, of your life. At another level this is a painful, yes, raw settlement with the swedish "social engineering" so admired by foreigners, at least in the past.
I cannot think of any other movie more worth recommending to somebody who's interested in what mankind really is, and what caricature she can made into.
This is a movie about how to make friends when every other possibility is exhausted, how to talk man to man, when every way of communication i banned by the "authorities".
- Nov 1, 2003