Thursday, June 07, 2012

Bear Tooth Valet Parking for Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage (BCA) had free valet parking for bikes at the Bear Tooth last Monday.  (But they did take donations.)

We were there to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi - part of the Alaska Food Film Fest.  

This was a long, but thought-provoking movie about what the movie touts as the greatest sushi maker in Japan.  At 85 he's still making sushi at his restaurant where reservations must be made at least a month in advance.  He's got three Michelin stars.  And his two sons are working for him.  The younger son has opened his own restaurant, but the older son, over 60 now, is still waiting to take over from his father.

Two Screenshots from Jiro Dreams of Sushi Trailer
Jiro left home as a child and made his way to this position.  So clearly he didn't have much of a model for how to father. 

This film is one more case study for us to ponder the sacrificing of personal life to become 'the best' of something.  He says he left for work before his kids were up in the morning and got back when they were already sleeping.  But he has had his son's working for him for 40 years.  But as depicted in the film, he is clearly the boss, even with his sons are old enough to grandfathers.  Is perfect sushi that important?

I did wonder at one point why the Alaska Center for the Environment was sponsoring this movie.  But then Jiro talked about how good fish are disappearing and the importance of sustainable fishing. 

I think the movie could be edited.  But overall it introduced me to the world of a Tokyo restaurant and the now common worldwide food known as sushi.

And so we found ourselves headed toward Yamato Ya for a little sushi after the movie.

We got a mix of sushi and sashimi.

For the photographically curious, I'm using Aperture now (instead of iPhoto) and I experimented with curves on the first and third images here.


  1. 81 minutes is not a long movie. As for editing, I thought the movie was lovely just the way it was. The pace and ambiance of the movie was as important as the story. Too many of today's movies are aggressively edited so that they move at a blinding pace, flinging flashing images at the screen, loud soundtracks, never a moment's pause, and I'm not just talking about action movies. This is a calm, thoughtful, gentle movie, to be savored.

  2. Anon, You're right. 81 minutes isn't long for a movie. It just seemed long to me. I do like slow paced unHollywood movies. But I felt I was seeing very similar shots and hearing the same issues repeatedly. But maybe that was the point. New Yorker reviewer, Dana Goodyear, notes: "Jiro’s story is about repetition, which must seem a luxury to American chefs, who are driven by, and must respond to, our national obsession with novelty."
    Thanks. I wouldn't have found that review without your prodding. (I found the review after writing about finding it repetitive.)

  3. A t least one thing they did good by providing free parking to the bicycles and bikes only.


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