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Kitchen Stories

A movie directed by Bent Hamer

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Friendship Unbound

  • Jan 23, 2011
Isak did not care to speak to Folke. Folke was not to speak to Isak. Such were the rules unspoken and otherwise. This is "Kitchen Stories," or, as this movie is known in Norway, "Salmer Fra Kjøkkenet."

Isak, as the subject of Folke's sociological research, offered himself up to be studied thinking a horse was to be provided, and when a toy horse arrived instead of a breathing one, on strike he went. Thus began their banal arrangement.

Things delved into a quiet silence, each respecting the other's space in the midst of themselves. Each watched the other. One took notes, the other remembered. Soon, they realized how similar they were: two single men doing little more than avoiding relationships, living alone.

Isak is a curmudgeoned older bachelor living in Norway, whilst Folke, also a bachelor, makes a living studying people like Isak. However, having never dialogued with his subjects, Folke, he never saw more them as more than moving objects to be charted and analyzed. Within a few cups of coffee, two lonely men become brothers, seeing there is something more important than a self-induced hermitage.

Their relationship develops with subtle sophistication, with Folke bringing in rare treats his elderly aunt sends him, and Isak, saving his friend from being run over by a train.

Like 84 Charing Cross Road, "Kitchen Stories" is graceful in its presentation and unfolding of phileo love.


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January 23, 2011
whoa. Thanks for sharing! I love things that I never heard about.
January 24, 2011
Then, by all means find this wherever you see movies. I found it at my library, but it is on Netflix and Amazon. It is a quieter movie, not one which so ensconced in Norway that it cannot be remade in the USA. If you can get beyond subtitles, it is a thoughtful adventure worth watching. I;ll look forward to your review.
More Kitchen Stories reviews
review by . May 13, 2012
As quiet and dry as a Norwegian bachelor
Kitchen Stories, a Norwegion/Swedish co-production, starts out as a dry, deadpan comedy of differences and ends as a dry, deadpan comedy of friendships.      Sweden's Home Research Institute has just finished a detailed, observation-based study of the Swedish housewife's movements through her kitchen. The purpose is to maximize efficiency. The next step is a study of Norwegian bachelors and how they use their kitchens. Observers are sent out to scientifically plot the …
review by . December 26, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Funny, warm, simple; great acting, visually appealing     Cons: None at all     The Bottom Line: Science sparks an unusual friendship     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. FILM ONLY REVIEW     Believing that he'll receive a horse in return, stubborn, set in his ways, bachelor Isak (Joachim Calmeyer) agrees to take part in a study by the Swedish Housekeeping Institute: they've …
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Brockeim ()
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Writer. Amazon reviewer. Humorist & poet. Friend of coffee & romance. Teller of tales, weaver of whimsy. Playful literary adventurer. Contact me so I can review your stuff. http://brockeim.com   … more
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A quaint story about the friendship between two aging men, KITCHEN STORIES is packaged as a comedy with a very strange premise. It is based on research conducted in Sweden in the 1950s when women were observed in the kitchen for a study to determine the best housework techniques. In the film, a fictional plotline concerns a team of Swedish scientists--all men--hired to observe bachelors living alone in Norway. Their methods are absurd. The observers live in funny little trailers outside their subjects' houses. They sit in high, intimidating chairs placed in the corner of their subjects' kitchens where they take notes on a clipboard. Finally, there is a strict rule that the observer and the subject must not speak to each other or make contact of any kind. This last rule is impossible to follow, and in the case of observer Folke (Tomas Norstrom) and subject Isak (Joachim Calmeyer) it is ignored. The two aging men become fast friends, passing wintry afternoons in the rural countryside sipping coffee, smokin...
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Director: Bent Hamer
Genre: Drama
Release Date: February 20, 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (December 14, 2004)
Runtime: 1hr 31min
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