Monday, August 4, 2008

"Salmer fra kjøkkenet"

"Salmer fra kjøkkenet"
International title: "Kitchen Stories"
Genre: Comedy
Language: Norwegian, Swedish
Running time: 95 minutes

Directed by Bent Hamer
Written by Jörgen Bergmark, Bent Hamer

Cast includes:

Joachim Calmeyer as Isak Bjørvik
Tomas Norström as Folke Nilsson
Bjørn Floberg as Grant
Reine Brynolfsson as Malmberg
Sverre Anker Ousdal as Dr Jack Zac. Benjaminsen

Overview: "The Norwegian writer and director Bent Hamer's wry, uninflected deadpan social comedy points as straight and true as a compass fixed on magnetic north. It has the tingly, dry shock of a snootful of sub-zero air. The material itself is so minimal that it makes a New Yorker cartoon look like an episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants." Folke (Tomas Norstrom) is an expert from the Swedish Home Research, part of a project to track the domestic habits of Norwegian bachelors. He moves into the home of one of the study's subjects, Isak (Joachim Calmeyer), a bizarre codger who pads around his tiny, uncomfortable house. Isak turns the tables at night by slipping into his attic and spying on the lonely Folke, who lives in a trailer on Isak's property. Mr. Hamer takes what sounds like a constricted and unpromising premise, and gets the most out of the modest contradictions. He maximizes the concept, through an entrancing visual flair and, eventually, a tiny depth of feeling. He keeps the film compact, and the design scheme of this postwar era has dash and vigor. The retro polish of "Kitchen Stories" comments on the loneliness of utilitarian design. Folke might as well be a vowel floating in a Campbell Soup can. (Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times)"

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