Live Tweeting #6: Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2012)

I think we can all agree sushi is delicious. It seems like a simple piece of food: just a tiny piece of fish wrapped in a roll of rice and seaweed. But we never seem to notice how difficult it is to make a roll of sushi. Anywhere in the world right now is a chef trying to create the perfect dish for someone to eat in their restaurant. It has become an art form in creating the most beautiful dish of sushi. David Gelb has decided to focus on one of the most famous sushi chefs in particular with the critical darling…

01:00: As delicious as sushi is, raw Tuna just looks so unappetizing.

03:00: Amazing how such a fantastic chef is in such a….well a bland building. I imagine it is bland considering where we’re at.

06:00: I mean seriously, look at the outside of this building. It’s like it is in a freaking subway! (EDIT: Turns out it is in the basement of an office building. That’s nuts.)

11:00: I never understand chef’s who smoke. I mean Jiro has stopped before this documentary was filmed but ruining your palate with nicotine must make tasting the food almost impossible.

16:00: It looks small as hell but I bet that is the tastiest piece of sushi you will ever have.

20:00: That’s an amazing idea for a second restaurant. Reverse the layout entirely so that when both restaurants are pictured side by side they look like one, big establishment.

28:00: Massaging an Octopus for 40-50 minutes sounds like a new level of hell if I was an apprentice.

35:00: Fish markets in Japan always fascinate me. It seems like a completely new world when you enter one.

36:00-39:00:This went from going sinister to a musical farce in a real hurry. I can see that the message of overfishing is going to be a theme for the rest of the film. It just feels….dirty watching these people try and outbid for the best fish.

46:00-48:00: This isn’t the first time the film goes into ‘artistic’ mode but the way Gelb and his Editor truly makes you feel like you are watching a performance is amazing. The way Jiro and his crew prepare is beautiful to watch whether it be in any motion.

48:30-50:30: This poor bastard. I’m sure he is an amazing chef but because he is working for Jiro he had to be perfect. Which means it took 200 tries to make one piece of sushi. No one should could through that kind of trouble.

59:00: Best line to describe this movie in full: “When I ate the sushi, I felt like I was listening to music.”

65:00-68:00: I like it that these guys, especially Jiro, acknowledge overfishing has become a problem. Also, that sushi may be a big factor into why because of its recent popularity. Most of the time it feels like the general public does not seem to care but losing fish is a big deal for all of us in the long run. It is like anything in today’s age of climate change, pollution, and population changes. Sorry to be on the soapbox but it is a serious issue that should be considered more urgently by anyone in power.

75:00: I hope that in my career I will feel the same way about life as Jiro. I don’t want to be bored and feel useless at such an old age. I want to matter and I would love for him to be my motivational coach in life.

Conclusion: This film is a fantastic example of how much of an art form sushi making is. Whether it be through Jiro’s hands, his sons, or the apprentices; you can see how much hard work and craft goes into the tiniest of plates. Gelb’s cinematography and the Philip Glass score makes it feel like you are watching the most elegant of performances. Jiro Ono in general is a very fascinating man who is such a perfectionist it becomes maddening to think how he drove so many crazy over the years as a co-worker. There is no denying though that what he brings to his food is above any kind of rating system even in the Michelin star level. What I also like though is how this film addresses all aspects of making sushi and that includes the fish. This film subtly puts in a overfishing message and if someone like Jiro knows something bad may occur because of it you know we are in trouble. Despite the concerns it makes me appreciate the countless people all over the world who prepare sushi on a daily basis; especially the ones who call themselves “shokunin”.


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