Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I’m no foodie, and this film, as I suspected, is no foodie affair. There are gorgeous close-ups of sushi, certainly, but the emphasis is on dedicated practice: the same tools, the same motions, put to use again and again with new supplies of the same materials (fish and rice). Ono is seeking “the top,” but as he explains, “no one knows where the top is.” So keep going. Is the fish a little tough? Marinate it longer. If you think rice is a simple matter — well, it isn’t, at least not for Ono and his rice merchant. The willingness to look more and more deeply so as to discover ways to improve or reinvent one’s work offers a model for every form of endeavor. I’d love to show this film to a class of writing students.
You can learn more about Jiro Dreams of Sushi at the film’s website (the source of the photograph above). If you watch the trailer, bear in mind that the film is far less busy and far more thoughtful.
By Michael Leddy at 9:21 AM