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Film Observation Note

By sugarpalm Nov 01, 2013 1042 Words
Film Observation Note
Film: Kitchen Stories
Time: 95 minutes
Notes:
The film started with the presentation of a Swedish scientific study in 1944 on habits of housewives in order to design a perfect environment for them. Then, in 1950, the Swedish research institute conducted another experiment by distributing researchers to observe single Norwegian men on their use of kitchens. There was a winter in Norway where a policeman stood on a road and watched many cars with caravan camps drove pass him to start the project. A researcher, naming ‘Folke Nilsson’ was assigned to observe the habit of an old single man, ‘Isak Bjoruik’. Folke had put many efforts to force Isak to join the project but it failed. Then, Folke decided to park his caravan camp in front of Isak’s house and placed a little horse doll in front of the house as a token. Finally, Isak took it at night and opened a door to allow Folke entering his house. Folke started his experiment by sitting on an umpire chair in Isak’s kitchen and observed Isak’s behavior but he has never talked to his subject. Unfortunately, Isak felt his privacy has been invaded. He often suddenly stopped his activities such as chatting with his closed friend, eating chocolate bars by turning off the light and leaving the room during Folke’s observation. On the other hand, Folke was observed by Isak via the hole on the ceiling. He saw what Folke wrote on the note during sitting on the umpire chair. Next day Folke talked to his boss that he wanted to change the host because it seems that no any progress on his observation as he has never seen Isak used the kitchen. He suspected that Isak cooked food in the bedroom instead as he smelled food cooking from the upstair. However, the boss refused the host shift. The relationship of both men became closer when Isak wanted to smoke but he did not have any tobacco left and Folke gave Isak his tobacco. Then, Isak made Foke a cup of coffee and invite him to take the coffee break. Folke climbed down from the umpire chair to take coffee and said ‘Thank you’ to Isak. This is the first time they got to talk. After that, they started deeper conversation to get to know each other more in such a topic like their hometown and the origin of their family name. After that, Isak started treating Folke as a friend of him which can be seen from many of his actions. For instance, Isak covered Folke with a blanket when he fell asleep on his umpire chair. Next, Folke’s boss came to visit him and told him that Green (another observer) broke the researcher’s rule by becoming friend with his host and drinking alcohol together. The boss emphasized that the observer must not be closed with host. After that, Folke was sick and Isak looked after him. Isak drew his movement on Folke’s kitchen map and also climbed to sit on the umpire chair. In the morning, the boss came to the house to see Folke and could not find him in Isak’s house. Isak decided to lie to the boss that Folke went out to buy tobacco in order to prevent the boss to know about their relationship. On Isak’s Birthday, Folke set a small party for Isak and also gave him a birthday cake. They worn formal suits, celebrated birthday together and drank many glasses of bourbon. Time passed, they got drunk. In the morning, the boss came again and found that Isak slept on Folke’s umpire chair and recognized that they were drinking alchohol together. The situation became worse when the boss saw what Isak wrote on Folke’s note. He asked Isak to find out where Folke was. Isak came upstair to his bedroom and said apologise to Folke for his guilty. He told Folke about the hole he made on the kitchen ceiling and observed Folke via the hole without his permission. Isak came to downstair and lied to the boss again that he could not find Folke in his house. Folke saw what was going on in the kitchen from the hole of ceiling Isak used to observe him. The boss was so angry and left the house. Folke suddenly knew that he would be fired from his job because he broke the researcher’s rules. Isak invited Folke t spend the Christmas time with him but Folke said he must return home as he broke the contract. Folke drove his car with a caravan camp and left Isak’s house. Isak thought that Folke decided to leave him. Actually, Folke drove his car to return the caravan camp to his boss and told him boss that he quitted the job. Finally, he returned to Isak’s house and stay there during the Christmas time.

Reflections:
It can be seen that the role of observers in the film are: observing without any interference to the subject, predicting what the subject is doing and taking notes as much as they can. They are not allowed to communicate with their subject. Building close relationship is extremely prohibited. •Folke is a representative of known observers, while Isak plays two roles: the gatekeeper and the participant of the research. At the first time, Folke tried to access the gatekeeper in obtrusive ways such as making noise, shouting in front of Isak’s house to force him to participate in the project but all methods failed to interest the gatekeeper. Therefore, he decided to use a polite way to give the subject a token and it did work. After getting a physical access, at first he strictly complied with the research institute’s rule by not communicating and building any relationship with his host, just keeping his observation going on. However, he did not find any progress on his observation because Isak has never used his kitchen during the observation. The reason is that Folke could not gain Isak’s trust and acceptance in order to gain actual access the data (Isak’s use of kitchen). After that, Folke gained cognitive access from Isak when they started having interaction and communication.

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