Hey everyone, we’re back with another entry in the Reader Recommendations series!
The Reader Recommendation series is intended to help me formally pursue all the great films that commenters bring up each week in discussion which I’ve never seen. If there’s a movie that comes up that I haven’t seen, but you think I should, email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
or let me know in the comments that you’d like to participate.
This time up, our recommendation comes from Jen Kakio from JenKakio.com
! She’s recommended “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. I’ve actually heard quite a bit about this film… maybe it’s because Jen mentioned it to me initially a long time ago now, and so it was on my radar. Now I’m curious to finally check it out!
Click through to read a little more about why she felt it was worthy of recommending, followed by my thoughts on the film!
My questions in bold. Jen′s answers below.
1. Do you remember when you first saw this movie?
Yes and no. I don’t remember the exact date on when I saw this movie, but I do remember other details like who I was with and where. I was with my dad and in Hawaii. It was pretty uneventful day. No lines, I didn’t buy any food, and the movie theater was semi-packed with retirees.
2. Why do you think that it’s recommendable? What do you like about it?
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is not for everybody. I feel documentaries are chosen for personal reasons. I would recommend this movie if you fall into one or more categories:
- Interested in Asians (sorry, there is only males in this movie)
- Loves Sushi
- Loves Japanese culture or at least have an interest in it
3. Is the movie underappreciated, do you think? Or does pop culture have it fairly rated?
Um. Well, I don’t see a lot of love for this movie, but the people who watched it had really great things to say about it. I think this movie was totally overlooked. I don’t blame the public for that. i mean, the title and poster alone kinda throws you off. It’s more than sushi. There is a deep sense of pride in the work that Jiro puts into his restaurant. I would even go as far to say that his passion and pride causes his family tension. In a way, I respect Jiro for his intenseness for his career, but at the same time feel sorry for him. The cinematography was great when it came to the sushi! I just wanted to bite the screen! It definitely made me hungry.
4. Is there any particular reason you thought I should watch it, or were you just surprised I hadn’t seen it?
I feel that you could appreciate the sushi porn, at least. I think you would be surprised how this documentary is like an onion. The longer you watch the movie, the more layers of Jiro is being peeled back. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I am not at all shocked that you didn’t watch it.
5. Have you written about the movie yourself?
I am shocked! I didn’t. I’m putting it on my blogging list. Stay tuned!
Big thanks, Jen! My Review Below.
I knew one thing going into “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. I was not about to be hit with a Sushi craving unprepared. So I ordered up a sampler and a couple of rolls, and dove in as I hit play. And I was glad I did, too. Within two minutes of this movie I would have been dying for some.
“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a documentary about Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old master sushi chef in Tokyo Japan.
See if you can wrap your mind around this. Jiro’s restaurant has ten seats. It’s a sushi bar, with ten chairs in front of it. He charges $300 a seat, dinner for two… so, say if you took a date… it would be a $600 meal. He serves only sushi. Not tempura and sushi, not edamame and sushi, just sushi. Rice, fish, light basting. Sushi. They put the pieces out one at a time on a small serving plate, in front of the customers, and the customers eat them as soon as they’re served.
His restaurant is world renown and takes reservations a full month in advance.
Jiro’s secret is his relentless pursuit of perfection. Forced into self-reliance at an extremely young age, he adopted an incredibly strong work ethic. He constantly strives to improve his technique, and is unwavering in the demands he places on his staff. He dislikes vacations and holidays, and avoids time off at all costs. He is so focused on his work that he would make sushi in his dreams, and in the morning wake up with new ideas.
The documentary is a combination of a biographical look at the man, the sushi industry in Tokyo (including the fish markets), and the changing world we live in. But mainly, it’s a look at Jiro’s philosophies. In Jiro’s way of thinking, one should dedicate themselves to their work, and strive to master it. It’s about aspiring to be the best, and having a singular focus is a strong part of that. For example, he admits at one point in the film that he hasn’t been the best father, but both of his sons are master sushi chefs themselves now due to his tutelage.
Seeing the lengths they go to just to cook their rice, to serve the fish at exactly the best time, watching the lengths he makes his apprentices go to for their training… it really all is incredible. It’s a different and admirable way of life, and something that I think few Americans can relate to.
It was certainly an interesting film, and I found Jiro’s philosophies on perfection to be fascinating. Sushi has also never looked so delicious… so if you enjoy it, and you watch this film, be prepared for some big time cravings!