Friday, March 16, 2012
Best Old Intense Sushi Chef
I have a new favorite genre of film, "Documentaries about people in their 80's who are super awesome and completely obsessed with their work." At first it seemed there was only one movie that belonged to this genre, Bill Cunningham New York, which was also probably my favorite movie of 2011. But I can confirm the existence of a second film in this genre! The recently-released "Jiro Dreams of Sushi", about an 85 year old man who runs the world's best (and first to win 3 Michelin stars) sushi restaurant. And the restaurant happens to be tiny and inside a subway station in Tokyo, but those are just details.
The movie is great, but the main idea can be covered pretty well in three minutes: Jiro has worked with sushi all his life, his sons have worked under him of their life, he has a very intense attention to detail and quality, and if you want to apprentice under him you'll be subjected to a process that makes Mr. Miyagi's karate training look like a 30 minute crash-course.
I do not know if I can recommend this movie to someone that does not like sushi as there is a lot of sushi in it, filmed in a way that is mouthwatering to lovers of raw fish and probably repulsive to those who are against it.
Like Bill Cunningham, there are a few funny characters that show up during this movie, such as the depressive fish salesman and the man who knows more about rice than anyone else in the world.
I can also recommend this film as a way to learn about how auctions are run in Japan. I guess talking in a funny voice real fast is a custom the world over? But the Japanese seem to have added dance steps to their auction process. Nice touch.