KITCHEN STORIES (Bent Hamer) Rating: NNN (June 7-8, Revue; June 9, Fox) Rating: NNN
Back when the CNE's Better Living Centre really pursued its promise, there was an even more utopian movement happening in Sweden. Kitchen Stories nudges domestic science to an absurd extreme, charting a friendship that develops in the 50s when a Swedish scientist moves into a Norwegian bachelor's home to observe and improve his kitchen efficiencies.
Director Bent Hamer pulls off a bittersweet comedy of logic, much of it stemming from friction between Norwegians and Swedes, whom Hamer opines are the Germans of Scandinavia.
"I'm Norwegian, and of course we laugh about them," he says. "I studied in Sweden, and they are very bureaucratic, I tell you. They have a strong sense of getting everything sorted out and listed up, organizing their everyday life."
But this isn't just an easy swipe at the Ikea nation, Hamer says. "It wouldn't work if it looked like I was trying to be funny. If you find it funny it's because everything is done so seriously."