Friday, August 25, 2006

Japanese Film from Finland - Kamome shokudo - Ruokala Lokki - 2006

Kamome shokudo - Ruokala Lokki

I found interesting movie today, a japanese film made in Helsinki.
It will be interesting see how Japanese Director presents Helsinki, we are used to see it as dark and depressing place through Kaurismäki films but this film might be different.

Cannot wait to see it :)

In summer that year, a small Japanese eating-house opened on a street corner in Helsinki by the name of Kamome Diner (ruokala lokki). Shopkeeper Sachie (Satomi Kobayashi) is 38-year-old. The menus she recommends are gsoul foodsh that carry the Japanese spirit and gonigirih (rice balls), which Sachie strongly believes in. Sachie had hopes that the diner would become a place where neighbors could easily drop by, enjoy the simple yet tasty food and spend a time of their own.
There were people who would show interest and peek into the diner run solely by a Japanese woman, but days followed in which nobody came in to eat. However, Sachie showed no signs of impatience. Everyday, she thoroughly polished her eating utensils, went swimming in the afternoons and cooked and ate dinner when she got home. The following day, she would open the diner with hopes high again. Sachie had a daily routine of practicing aikido trained by her father whom she left in Japan. After calming her soul, she would gather her gkih(energy) and proceed forward on her knees. This exercise enabled her to forget her worries of living alone in a foreign country.
One day, Kamome Diner saw its first customer\a Finnish young man named Tommi Hiltunen (Jarkko Niem), a zealous fan of Japan and its way of life. His T-shirt illustrates the Japanese comic@book character gNyarome.h He asks Sachie whether she knows the lyrics of the song for Japanese animation gGatchaman.h Unfortunately she can only remember the songfs opening words, gdareda, dareda, daredah (who is it, who is it, who is it).
That afternoon at Academia Bookstore in town, Sachie comes across Japanese woman Midori (Hairi Katagiri) who is reading a book on
Moomin with a difficult expression on her face. Sachie takes the plunge and asks the woman if she knows the lyrics for gGatchaman.h The woman smoothly writes the lyrics down on paper while singing the song.
Sachie thanks her deeply. Midori conveys her the reason she came to Finland. She tells her how she closed her eyes before a world map, and abruptly laid her finger@on it. The place she pointed just turned out to be Finland, she says. Sachie suggests that Midori stay at her home that night. After spending some time together, Midori starts working at Kamome Diner.
Little by little, Kamome Diner started seeing customers other than Tommi. They appetizingly dug into freshly baked cinnamon rolls, and set meals of@roasted pork in ginger and fried pork in breadcrumbs. But there were still no orders for gonigirih (rice balls)\the eating-housefs signature menu. Unable to ignore this, Midori suggests they make onigiri out of herring, reindeer and crayfish. But the attempt doesnft work.
Meanwhile at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Masako (Masako Motai) stood alone for a long time gazing at the luggage conveyor belt, which showed no signs of carrying her suitcasec
The film, which takes place under the blue sky in a small eating-house located in a street corner of Helsinki, tells a contented story of people who are true to themselves, spending humble days.

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