Sunday, 25 October 2009

kitchen stories - (labri)

Here, like Gran Torino and Bleu, we have a cold solitary character thawed by an unwelcome intrusion. Here, like Mon Oncle we have humour at the expense of positivistic science. Here like Persepolis we have colliding cultures making a home together.

The cast is, bar periphery appearances, exclusively male. The male professor sends his male supervisor with male driver to oversee male scientists, who are inspecting single men, who visit their male doctor and drink coffee with male friends. The film does not announce itself as one commenting on gender, but in later conversation: would it have expressed the same thing with a woman in any (or all) of the roles? Perhaps we knew this, that positivism is a masculine thing, but that this is nodded to so unblinkingly suggests we are resigned either to the inevitability of one-dimensional masculinity or to the inevitability of positivism.

We continue to speculatively build houses on these presuppositions of the efficient genericness of the typical kitchen. There is an informationism at work privileging observation over intimacy, and it is a critique of any who would elevate fact over meaning, this film was made for Jim's delight, and mine in the infectious draw of conviviality, the saving power of a meal shared. In their drawing together, as with Grant visiting the doctor, we are offered a meditation on the importance of proximity and the affirming power of touch.

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