Mealtimes can be the setting for the gamut of human performances. Norwegian artist and author Matias Faldbakken captures the show: the hilarity and pathos, the monotony and the bizarre, the nostalgia and the sanguine, narrated by a neurotically observant waiter at a high-end but old-fashioned and fading Oslo restaurant called The Hills. At the sharp end of experiencing how people behave when they feel the need to preen in public but let their guards drop, he misses nothing as the staff and diners interact in a microcosm of the weird, the worst, and a pinch of the best, in humanity. Superficially expert, he maintains deadpan decorum, in keeping with the establishment’s cultivated norms and his own understanding of roles and responsibilities. He is acutely attentive in the silences, nobly deaf to calamitous sounds of kitchen meltdown, and respectfully standoffish with the patrons. Recognising stereotypes and complexities in the characters of regular customers, sharp aphorisms accompan...

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