The stunningly shot, über-stylish “Kamome Diner,” a tale of three Japanese women (Satomi Kobayashi, Hairi Katagiri and Masako Motai) afoot in Helsinki, pays tribute to the quirky cinema of Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki. Sachie opens a Japanese eatery near the Helsinki harbor. The specialty of the house is onigiri or omusubi. Her only customer, day after day, is a geeky Finnish boy obsessed with Japanese anime.
Two other Japanese women, each with personal issues, begin helping out, and the number of customers increases. The diner, it seems, attracts only patrons with problems, all finding comfort in Sachie’s conversation and tasty cuisine.
The film’s mouth-watering attention to food will have you racing to your favorite okazuya after the screening. “Kamome Diner,” based on a novel by Yoko Mure, conveys the topsy-turvy sensation of being a stranger in a strange land and presents food, no matter how alien, as the center of community and cultural understanding.
Presented by the SCA Alumni Screening Series and East Asian Studies Center. Free admission, but reservations required. For more information, visit http://cinema.usc.edu/KamomeDiner.