The time is the early 1950s and Sweden’s Home Research Institute (HRI) is conducting a research programme into domestic habits, to rationalise the layout of kitchens along industrial lines. Armed with clipboards and diagrams, a Swedish delegation arrives in a Norwegian rural district, with the aim of mapping the kitchen routines of single men. Method demands that the observer cannot intervene in household life, only watch and note, and never converse with the subject of surveillance. Hapless observer Nilsson is assigned a particularly reluctant farmer, the cantankerous old Isak, who at first won’t even let him into the house. Soon, though, Nilsson takes up his vantage point on a wooden platform perched ludicrously in the corner of the kitchen - only to find that Isak is watching him, through a hole in the kitchen ceiling. Slowly, however, relations between the two men begin to thaw.
On at The Phoenix this week. Off-kilter visual style, chilly, pale-green polar look, wonderful retro pastiches. Oooo.