Kitchen Stories (Salmer fra Kjøkkenet) (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Sell-Through Release Status Unknown
Due Out for Rent 27-Apr-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Love's Brother, To Be & To Have, Plots With A View
Trailer-A Heart Elsewhere
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 91:01 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Bent Hamer

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Joachim Calmeyer
Tomas Norström
Bjørn Floberg
Reine Brynolfsson
Sverre Anker Ousdal
Leif Andrée
Gard B. Eidsvold
Lennart Jähkel
Trond Brænne
Bjørn Jenseg
Jan Gunnar Røise
Karin Lunden
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Hans Mathisen

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.00:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.00:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In 1950s Sweden, scientists at the Home Research Institute have just released the figures of their latest study. The study monitored the distance travelled on foot by housewives in their kitchens during their daily duties, the aim of the study being to design better and more streamlined kitchens to reduce housewife fatigue.

    With that study done, the institute turned to the bachelors of a small Norwegian village to conduct the same study, but this time with single men.

    Folke Nilsson (Tomas Norström) has the job of studying the way Isak Bjorvik (Joachim Calmeyer) uses his kitchen. Folke parks his small caravan outside Isak's house, which becomes his home for the duration of the study. Folke then sets up a high stool, like a tennis umpire's chair, in the corner of Isak's kitchen to assist in accurately documenting Isak's every movement in his kitchen. The most important rule of the whole study is that there must be no communication at all between the researcher and the subject.

    Although he initially volunteered for the program, Isak turned bitter on the project when the horse he was promised when he signed up turned out to be an ornamental horse. Isak then decides to deliberately sabotage Folke's research by preparing food in his bedroom and spending as little time as possible in the kitchen. This becomes an incredible source of frustration for Folke who tries, albeit unsuccessfully, to convince his boss Malmberg (Reine Brynolfsson ) to swap him to another host.

    Gradually, though, Isak begins to warm to this stranger sitting in his kitchen and a friendship is established between to two. This of course, breaks every rule of the study and sets them both at odds with Malmberg, who has no tolerance for this insubordinate behaviour.

    Kitchen Stories is the type of film that is very easily overlooked, but will reward anyone who is prepared to look outside the square. The screenplay is quite eccentric and original, with minimal dialogue used to convey the film's deeper message of humanity.

    The screenplay contains a lot of humour relating to the friendly rivalry between the Swedes, Norwegians and the Finns, some of which may be lost on other audiences, but I found enough universal humour and warmth in the film to highly recommend it to any audience of any age.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of the film is really quite superb.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.00:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. I believe this ratio is the original aspect ratio.

    The transfer is crystal clear and sharp, except for some very light grain in a couple of darker scenes. Overall, blacks were very clean and displayed no low level noise. Shadows were outstanding, holding wonderful detail.

    The production design of Kitchen Stories involves substantial swathes of pastels, and in particular, many shades of green. These colours give the film an almost surreal quality and are beautifully rendered on the DVD. Skin tones and the general colour balance appear spot on, with no oversaturation.

    There were no MPEG artefacts present. I found very few problems with film-to-video artefacts, the only issue being, some minor edge enhancement at times. However, I needed to look particularly hard to find this. There were some film artefacts present in the transfer, but they are hardly noticeable and not distracting at all.

    The only subtitles available on the disc are English. They are in a slightly off-white colour and were always clear and easily read.

    This is a single sided, single layered disc, so therefore there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio transfer is also of excellent quality.

    There is one audio track available, that being Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s).

    Dialogue quality and audio sync both certainly appeared to be excellent, although I have no understanding of the Swedish language.

    The original music score is credited to Hans Mathisen. The music is light-hearted and typical of the 1950s, and suits the film very well. There are also some elements of light jazz at times. It is rather difficult to pick the original from the non-original music though.

     The surrounds are used sparsely, as the film doesn't have much call for direct sound placement. Music is spread over the channels and some occasional nice effects, such as a plane flying overhead at (5:13) make it into the surrounds.

    The subwoofer was quite active early in the film, highlighting some nice bass effects such as the aforementioned plane. However, it then goes to sleep about thirty minutes in.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The selection of extras on this disc are basic at best.


    The menus are quite simple. They are 16x9 enhanced, but are not animated and don't feature any audio.

Theatrical Trailer (1:35)

    The Kitchen Stories trailer presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Photo Gallery

    Twenty images from the film, including some behind-the-scenes photos. Presented with no audio.

More from Palace Films:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   The R1 version of Kitchen Stories is basically the same as this all region version, apart from the inclusion of an English Dolby Digital 5.1 language track on the R1 version.

   There also appears to be no extras at all on the R1 version. I would stick with this all region version.


    Kitchen Stories is an eccentric little film that radiates a lot of warmth. If you love a film with originality, wonderful performances and subtle humour, then this is for you.

    The video and audio transfers are excellent.

    The selection of extras on this disc is, unfortunately, very disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE