Monday, October 01, 2012

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi": can a movie about restaurant food be interesting? (There's more)


Would you think that a movie about food could be interesting?  Could showing it visually, without odor and taste, make for an interesting film experience?

Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (directed by David Gelb) shows us a lot of interesting ingredients, particularly the body parts of octopuses and various invertebrate sea creatures, as well as tuna steak, in presenting to us the family that runs the world renowned sushi restaurant in the basement of a Tokyo office building and subway station.  The restaurant is so renowned that one must make reservations a month in advance to eat there.

Jiri Ono will eventually pass his business on to his son Yosihikazu, and some of the film is about the importance of family bloodlines in Japanese society.   Family businesses gives “street smart” kids a chance to do as well as the academically or technically inclined. It also gets into environment concerns, particularly about overfishing. 

The official site from Magnolia pictures is here

I missed this film when it played at the West End in Washington.  It is available on Netflix now (very quickly)  for Instant Play (how I saw it) but not by DVD.  It can be viewed on YouTube for $3.99.  Besides Magnolia, E-One is also a distributor.


The music is interesting. The film opens with a climactic passage from the first movement of the Tchaikowsky Violin Concerto in the background.  Later, the slow movement of Mozart’s 21st Piano Concerto is played, although the film says that the course is being served to the first movement.  Musicians will catch this. (I wonder if they would use a “recomposed” Coronation Concerto!)  The original music, sounding a bit Glass-like, is composed by three people (Foxworth, Ontic, and Randa).

See also, “The Cove”, Aug. 7, 2009 here. 

Picture: That's just in Washington DC (mine). 

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