Kitchen Stories

Movie Information

In Brief: A very peculiar -- and fact-based -- comedy-drama about Swedish researchers conducting experiements on how to design the most efficient kitchen for Norwegian bachelors (they've already done this for Swedish housewives) by observing, but (theoretically) not interacting with their subjects. Yes, it's as screwy as it sounds. It's also pretty engaging.
Genre: Comedy-Drama
Director: Bent Hamer
Starring: Joachim Calmeyer, Tomas Norström, Bjørn Floberg, Reine Brynolfsson
Rated: PG

This peculiar little 2003 film screened here about seven years ago, which is probably the only time it’s been seen locally. It certainly never played here theatrically—probably because it has no stars, no big name director and a premise that’s hard to market, even in art house terms. I wrote, “There’s never any sense of Hamer or his co-writer, Jörgen Bergmark, approaching the story with a ‘They might not get this in America’ mindset, or, in one notable instance, thinking, ‘Do we need to remind people that Sweden sat out World War II by claiming neutrality?’ They expect the viewer to either know such things, or at least be able to figure them out in context. More notable, though, is the overall approach to the film, which is somewhere in between Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati, making Kitchen Stories almost defiantly out-of-step with modern film. That the movie is a period piece—taking place in the 1950s—helps to smooth over its ‘foreignness,’ in both material and approach.” The full review is here:

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Kitchen Stories at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.


About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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