“Appreciate its gestalt. Savor the aromas.”
November 12, 2018 8:51 AM   Subscribe

‘Tampopo’: Celebration of Food, Friendship, Sex and Hope Still Satisfies [The Tyee] “Juzo Itami’s film, first released in 1985, was one of the first major art house hits. Certain scenes became iconic almost instantly, like a gangster and his moll sliding an egg yolk back and forth between their open mouths like a bright yellow sex toy. Or the same gangster, in a different scene, cutting his lip on an oyster shell, and a bright red drop of blood falling into the still pulsing folds of the sea creature within. Equating sex and food is a logical connection (we are all creatures of appetite), but at the time it seemed a revelation. Upon watching the film again, different things revealed themselves, namely that food is the vehicle through which we tend to each other. We feed the ones we love — tenderness, care, and compassion — all carried in a bowl of warm broth. This idea, marinated in humour and shot through with slivers of bittersweet pain, feels new all over again. The other thing I’d forgotten about the film was the plain old notion of human goodness. It ain’t fancy; it’s basic, humble and unassuming, but also resplendent in unexpected ways. ” [YouTube][Trailer]

• ‘Tampopo’ Is the Ultimate Cult Classic Food Film [Eater]
“Culinary obsession is the thread that holds all of these random snapshots together. In one scene, a group of stuffy businessmen literally turn red in the face when a young colleague orders something different and exceedingly fancy at a company meal. In another scene, a grifter gets busted by an undercover cop during a Peking duck dinner, and begs the detective to let him finish one more bite before heading off to jail. And in the most surprising sketch of the movie, a mom on her deathbed momentarily shakes off her terminal illness to prepare fried rice for her hungry family, then immediately perishes after serving it to them. While some of these sketches strike a slightly cynical tone, the story of how Tampopo and a group of strangers transform the ramen shop is sweet and compelling. It’s almost like a Rocky story set inside a noodle parlor, and in a pleasant surprise, it avoids falling into easy romantic cliches.”
• Tampopo: Ramen for the People [Criterion]
“The place that ramen occupies in food culture is not unlike that of genre films, including westerns, in cinema: it is made for mass consumption and widely available, but it can transcend its popularity to become high art. As many throwaway flicks about shoot-outs at high noon as there are, there are also the films of John Ford (who, by the way, as a first-generation Irish American born in Maine, was a tumbleweed in his own right). As many trash bowls of melted-salt-lick water capped with a quarter inch of pork fat as you may be served, there’s also the kind of noodle soup Tampopo aspires to: tonkotsu broth that tastes clean and rich after sixty hours of simmering, with noodles so springy they almost seem alive. [...] Indeed, with its noodle-loving cowboys, Greek-chorus-like band of homeless oenophiles, and Eurocentric culinary references, Tampopo is inarguably a multicultural, humanist film.”
• My favourite film: Tampopo [The Guardian]
“Nobuko Miyamoto – the late Itami's wife – plays the eponymous noodle cook whose modest attempts at keeping her ramen cafe going after her husband's death are met with disdain when long-distance trucker Goro (Tsutomo Yamazaki), pure John Wayne swagger in his cowboy hat, sits down one night and tries a bowl. Ken Watanabe – who seems to have cornered the Hollywood market recently for don't-mess Japanese types in Inception, The Last Samurai and Batman Begins – plays Goro's fresh-faced sidekick Gun. The two agree to teach Tampopo how to cook the perfect bowl of noodles, and the film's wild ride begins. It's packed with indelible moments. The old master apologising to the pork in his bowl. Tampopo training like Rocky to get her strength up. A gangster (Koji Yakusho) and his girlfriend (Fukumi Kuroda) in bed with little more than an egg yolk and a live prawn to separate them. The philosophical verdicts delivered as Tampopo's noodles slowly improve ("They've got sincerity but they lack guts"; "They lack profundity" – watch and learn, MasterChef judges).”
• Tampopo: A classic film meditating on gods and ramen [The Globe and Mail]
“Tampopo is a film that's enlivened by such conflict and contradiction, mashing up styles and genre and moods in the telling of its story about the titular Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto), an apprentice ramen chef mastering her art. The film is sometimes billed as a "ramen western," a punny play on the so-called "spaghetti westerns" of Sergio Leone, et al., but the label doesn't quite stick. For one thing, it's not as if the spaghetti western were literally about spaghetti. For another, save for a few comic confrontations, mostly courtesy of a character called Gorō, Tsutomu Yamazaki's hard-nosed truck driver and ramen aficionado, who helps tutor Tampopo, Itami's movie wouldn't qualify as a western by even the more generous, revisionist metrics. Instead, it unfolds as a series of madcap, effortlessly charming comic vignettes, centred around food and food culture in mid-'80s Japan. (In one particularly hilarious bit, a group of women are lectured on how slurping noodles, typically taken as a sign of appreciation in China and Japan, is considered bad etiquette in the West.) The film's earnest high regard for ramen as a culinary and cultural touchstone in Japan is undercut by such silliness; it's at once reverent and irreverent.”
posted by Fizz (69 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Shoutout to nightrecordings for recommending this film to me. It has instantly become a classic and a film I will not soon forget.
posted by Fizz at 8:52 AM on November 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Great post and great film.

Itami's untimely death is a fascinating (if sad and grim) side story worth reading about. Depending on which theory you subscribe to, Itami either took his own life in a honor suicide stemming from accusations of an extramarital affair (which would be ironic from someone who skewered the insincerity/artificiality/senselessness of old traditions), or was forced to jump his death by a gangster after the Yakuza were displeased with his satiric portrayals of organized crime.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:00 AM on November 12, 2018 [16 favorites]

Tampopo is such a classic. If you enjoy it, Juzo Itami has made some other enjoyable comedies:

The Funeral which pokes fun at social rules and etiquette in a highly emotional environment.

A Taxing Woman about a small but very strong willed tax professional who decides to take on the Yakuza.
posted by eye of newt at 9:02 AM on November 12, 2018 [10 favorites]

A timeless film. I am always recommending it to people still, as it holds up very well.
posted by vacapinta at 9:05 AM on November 12, 2018

Well I'm adding this movie to my watch list!
posted by Grandysaur at 9:10 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Tampopo is fantastic. I seem to remember liking "A Taxing Woman" significantly more than its sequel, but it's been long enough since I've watched any of these films that I should probably watch them all again.
posted by Slothrup at 9:11 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Interesting article DirtyOldTown--it lists more of his movies, including several which take on the Yakuza (possibly leading to his death), and also one of my favorite books Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein, a reporter for the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper in Japan who often wrote articles about the Yakuza.
posted by eye of newt at 9:11 AM on November 12, 2018

Added to FanFare.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:19 AM on November 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

One of the all-time greats. It's really striking how I've been able to watch this during different phases of my life and enjoy it in different ways. I loved the dumb slapstick when I was a kid; the weird sex when I was a teenager; the bittersweet bits as an adult. Now that I've got young kids, I think about the sequence with the mom rising from her deathbed to make one more meal for the family, like, every other night. (In my imagination it goes on for another few minutes where she rises from the dead to clean up the table after.)
posted by phooky at 9:19 AM on November 12, 2018 [10 favorites]

phooky, that scene and the final shot of feeding really resonated with me, quite powerful.
posted by Fizz at 9:20 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Itami fans should also check out Yoshimitsu Morita's The Family Game. Juzo Itami plays the father in the film. It's very similar to his own work, satirizing contemporary Japanese family life with moments of absurdity and slapstick.
posted by cazoo at 9:25 AM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also, the opening scene in the theatre is a delight. I knew I was in for a good time when the film started that way. Itami is doing quite a bit with the camera and there's this energy to the film. I've not been able to stop thinking about this since I watched last night. It's been simmering on the brain.
posted by Fizz at 9:26 AM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tampopo was used in my intro to film class to demonstrate how comedy has the potential to cut across cultural lines more easily than drama. I never forgot it, and was so happy when the Criterion Collection released it. For years I encountered almost no one else who had seen it. (For the longest time I thought the "gangster and his moll" stuff was a 9 1/2 Weeks reference, but now I see it may very well have been the other way around.
posted by Fish Sauce at 9:36 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Anybody who has not seen it before, the dying gangster's final words are AMAZING. I spoil nothing by telling you that it involves wild boars.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 9:43 AM on November 12, 2018 [12 favorites]

I think about the scene with the old man and the young man and the ramen more often than I eat ramen, but I also think about it every time I eat ramen.
posted by rhizome at 9:48 AM on November 12, 2018 [8 favorites]

Tampopo was one of my favorite movies in college. I'd recommend it to people by saying "it's about food, and sex, and food and sex." There's a lot more to it than that, but that felt about right.
posted by Mchelly at 9:49 AM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tampopo was used in my intro to film class to demonstrate how comedy has the potential to cut across cultural lines more easily than drama.

Huh. That's an odd take. I guess it would depend on how one defines the idea, comedies that work across cultures are better, or comedies in general are better, the former maybe, the latter seems less likely given how few comedies really make the transition between countries and languages. Maybe if one broadens the concept to any film that has any element of humor, but that seems to be stretching definitions pretty far.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:07 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

love this film. And A Taxing woman is freaking great as well.
posted by nikaspark at 10:16 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

The French restaurant scene is one of my favorite scenes of any film I've ever scene. An amazing movie.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:18 AM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love this movie so much. The slapstick routine where the old man breaks into a building to make a rice omelet for the kid? But all of it.
posted by LizardBreath at 10:38 AM on November 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

What a great movie. Definitely recommend seeing it in a theater if you can. I felt very strange during the entire end credits, but could not look away.
posted by timdiggerm at 10:40 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

another film along the same vein, Like Water for Chocolate
posted by mtrhd at 10:51 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love this and also can heartily recommend A Taxing Woman.

Everyone always talks about this movie and noodles which is completely fair, but everytime I think about an omelette I think about the rice omelette the King Of Beggars cooks. Someday I will be nearly that good.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:54 AM on November 12, 2018 [8 favorites]

I saw this when it came out (as a 19-year-old pretentious film nerd), and try to see it at least once a decade since. One of my top 10 movies of all time.
posted by matildaben at 11:04 AM on November 12, 2018

I've lost count of the number of copies of the DVD that have never returned to me after loaning it out. Thank heavens I can now just point people to it online.
posted by Runes at 11:06 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

In addition to being a film about food and sex (and food-and-sex) it is also a film shouting out to film -- the truck-drivers as itinerant cowboys, the dapper gangster, the Chaplin-esque tramp, the Tati-esque old woman on a rampage in the grocery: they're are all very consciously chosen to evoke the history of films that Itami is commemorating.

It's been one of my favorites since I first saw it at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor more than 30 years ago. Definitely adding to the chorus here, but check it out if you haven't seen it.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:21 AM on November 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

I convinced a few friends to watch this, but because they are philistines, they were taken aback by the interludes and could not appreciate the joy that is Tampopo.

Those vignettes I think are a key reason I love the film. It breaks up the story a bit and I could see how that might pull some people out of the narrative, but they also seem to function as a connective tissue for the rest of the film. That food is life and death and sex and violence and beauty and sadness. It's all of these things.
posted by Fizz at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

One of the funniest movies ever made.

There's a great Making of Tampopo on YouTube. That YT account also has uploaded "making of" videos for a number of Itami' films.
posted by JamesBay at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2018 [9 favorites]

they were taken aback by the interludes and could not appreciate the joy that is Tampopo.

The interlude with oysters includes a child (she can't be more than 16). It makes me feel uncomfortable whenever I watch the film, although I do not at all think sexualizing children, notably girls, is a problem restricted to Japanese media.
posted by JamesBay at 11:27 AM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

There was a 4K restoration a couple of years back, and it's been going around - it's been in cinemas here in Amsterdam for the last couple of months.

Every scene is my favourite scene, but I've got a special fondness for the scene with the hobos.

"They live deeply, these vagabonds".
posted by daveje at 11:29 AM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thank you for this ode to one of my favorite films! For some odd reason, it's also on the same wavelength for me as "Chan is Missing" - an altogether different kind of film, but just as entrancing to me.
posted by dbmcd at 11:31 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yup, every scene is a favorite scene. One of the very few nearly-perfect movies.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:32 AM on November 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

At the risk of committing heresy, this is my second favorite Asian Food Movie after "Eat Drink Man Woman."

At the risk of paying lip service to a related heresy, there's apparently an American remake of sorts.
posted by hearthpig at 11:41 AM on November 12, 2018

Two things to look for that escaped me for years.

1) look at the scene where the blood drips on the oyster. Then looks at the scene where the ketchup drops on the omelette. Note several other instances where a RED CIRCLE appears on a WHITE FIELD. What might that be representing? 🇯🇵

2) see how many shots are deliberate homages to other films and directors. Add them here in this thread if you like. For example:

Old man cooking for kid — straight Charlie Chaplin

Piskin and Goro after their fight — Kurosawa’s Mad Dog

I think I’ve found homages to Yasujiro Ozu, spaghetti westerns, Sezuki Seijun, Truffaut, and many others. I would love to know what YOU see.
posted by jfwlucy at 11:46 AM on November 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

The interlude with oysters includes a child (she can't be more than 16). It makes me feel uncomfortable whenever I watch the film, although I do not at all think sexualizing children, notably girls, is a problem restricted to Japanese media.
She was 20 (or possibly 19, depending on the filming dates).
posted by Fish Sauce at 11:49 AM on November 12, 2018 [9 favorites]

Thank you for tracking that down.
posted by JamesBay at 11:56 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

As great as Tampopo is, Jûzô Itami's other films are remarkably consistent (perhaps not at the height of Tampopo but all are good) and are worth seeking out. But that's easier said then done though. The issue in our knowing his films has always been that they have all been poorly distributed in the West in general and in North America in particular.

To put it into perspective, Criterion put out their version in 2017 but the previous release was the long out of print 2000 Wellspring release. The only other films of his that had a release at least on DVD were Taxing Woman in 1998 and the Funeral in 2002 (both long out of print). I was really hoping that he'd be rediscovered after his death in 1997 and again more recently when the Japanese Blu-ray collections were released a few years ago... but still no such luck.
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:58 AM on November 12, 2018

The breastfeeding baby as the credits roll is the perfect (in it's most literal sense) ending.
posted by nikoniko at 12:00 PM on November 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Apologies for the derail, but this post makes me sad about the demise of independent video rental stores, and Filmstruck (though my experiences with Filmstruck were not great due to incessant buffering even though I have Gigabit Fiber)...where can people go if they are into "cinema"?
posted by nikoniko at 12:04 PM on November 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think highly specialized streaming services are all but inevitable. I just stumbled onto EasternEuropeanMovies.com, which is seemingly a very polished, professional pay site that has stuff by filmmakers like Kusturica, Tarr, etc. I've got to assume there's a niche streaming site bringing Japanese films to English speaking audiences as well.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:11 PM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

One of my most beloved movies! I can't believe it doesn't have a previously. The omelette scene with the gourmand hobo is a silly favorite, he reminds me of Tati's Oncle Hulot. I always wondered if Big Night's morning after omelette scene was an homage to the film.
posted by St. Oops at 12:17 PM on November 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

Picaflic Video has all of his movies on DVD.

Itami's films are not officially available in North America (other than Tampopo) so that, of course, doesn't mean there are those who have brought them in via other routes. Looking through Pic-A-Flic's catalogue I only see Tampopo & Taxing Woman listed, do they have the others?
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:17 PM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I saw Tampopo when I was a child, on French television. I think it must have been during the holidays, otherwise I wouldn’t have been awake to see it. For years I wondered what that odd movie had been, some scenes often springing to mind, for example the spaghetti eating scene. Then in my late teens I rented it with a friend, not knowing what film it was, and had a rush of recognition right away. I must have watched it at least ten times in the next few years. I love this film unreservedly.
posted by Kattullus at 12:22 PM on November 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Looking through Pic-A-Flic's catalogue I only see Tampopo & Taxing Woman listed, do they have the others?

Hmmm... I may be getting old. I'm probably thinking of the late 90s, when I lived literally half a block from Picaflic and watched all of Itami's movies (Minbo, Maruse no Onna, Supa no Onna etc etc etc), probably on VHS. I just assumed that the films would be available now, too. I'll have to check.

The funny thing is that it's almost impossible to find Japanese indie / art cinema in the video store in Japan, at least where I've lived (Toyama, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures).

I've only ever been able to get my Japanese movie fix at Picaflic in Canada, or on in-flight entertainment.

We never ever even got streaming Criterion in Canada. Luckily Picaflic has a huge selection of Criterion DVDs.
posted by JamesBay at 12:50 PM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

My girlfriend and I absolutely love this movie. I can’t get over young Ken Watanabe and his outfits 😍 be still, my heart.
posted by gucci mane at 12:57 PM on November 12, 2018

Hmmm... I may be getting old.

Oh its completely possible they may have transferred them from VHS (more of his films were released on VHS than on DVD in North America). I know a couple of stores in Toronto that had done that. It's not like anyone else has released them.
posted by Ashwagandha at 1:00 PM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

All of Juzo Itami's films are available right now on Filmstruck, in the Criterion Channel. Sadly, Filmstruck is shutting down on Nov. 29, but it seems likely that these will show up on Criterion DVD/Blu-ray and on Criterion's next streaming platform.
posted by Awkward Philip at 1:02 PM on November 12, 2018

A visiting American trucker comments on Trucking in Japan (2011):
Truck drivers are highly regarded in Japan because of the rigorous training and testing process the drivers go through. I wasn't able to determine how long the training period is, but wage scales seem similar to the U.S. Statistics from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2008 place truck drivers earnings somewhere between construction workers, and those in the manufacturing sectors. Like here, white collar jobs seem to pay better than blue collar occupations.

Truckers do, however, have a badge of honor of sorts. Many of them wear white gloves as a symbol of their professionalism.
There’s a brief video of long haul trucking in Takashi Takes on Tokyo (2018), but neither say anything about ‘truckers know the best roadside restaurants’. Any opinions about this from MeFites in Japan?
posted by cenoxo at 1:14 PM on November 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

I re-watched Tampopo for the first time since the 1990s earlier this year. Excellent film. I gave it 4.5/5 stars on Movielens,* and i’m a tough grader. Not many films get more than 4 stars from me.

* A free, non-commercial University of Minnesota project.
posted by D.C. at 1:49 PM on November 12, 2018

For anyone who loves the combination of sex, food, and comedy in Tampopo I would recommend The Wayward Cloud. It is not as perfect a movie, but does have many unforgettable visuals.

Yams, you see?
posted by benzenedream at 2:16 PM on November 12, 2018

Piskin and Goro after their fight — Kurosawa’s Mad Dog
Unless I'm misremembering which scene you're talking about, I always thought that part was an homage to John Ford's "The Quiet Man" (post fight scene between John Wayne & Victor McLaglen)
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:20 PM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Our high school teacher showed Tampopo to our Japanese language class in year 10 in 1997. I bet that wouldn't fly in schools now.
posted by trialex at 3:57 PM on November 12, 2018

oh god I just remembered the vacuum cleaner
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 4:06 PM on November 12, 2018

The scene in the restaurant where there is an etiquette class about how to eat spaghetti is especially funny for me because when in Japan I insist on eating spaghetti with o-hashi, which irritates the hell out of my wife, who is Japanese.
posted by JamesBay at 4:39 PM on November 12, 2018

Thank you for reminding me of this lovely film, Must watch it again.

A friend of mine worked in a cinema showing it when it was first released . One of his jobs was to clean up the auditorium after showings, and he told me that it was obvious that far more people than usual had brought in their own food, including a lobster.
posted by Fuchsoid at 4:45 PM on November 12, 2018 [10 favorites]

...a more recent article — with photos — about heavy Trucking in Japan (10-4 Magazine, April 1, 2018).
posted by cenoxo at 5:12 PM on November 12, 2018

thanks for posting - one of my favorite films. Anyone up for a rice omellette?
posted by grimjeer at 5:34 PM on November 12, 2018

Thanks for posting this, the spousal unit and I are definitely going to check this out.

Amid all the "food porn" comments, she and I were having a side conversation about one of the great food porn scenes in all of cinema, which our child watched today: Templeton at the Fair.
posted by duffell at 5:45 PM on November 12, 2018

I haven't seen this film in years, but the whole ethos made me feel more discerning about pork broth soup after I had a really good one in a Japanese restaurant.

("Tampopo" is also what they say in 'Kurosawa's Dream' when they see mutant dandelions).
posted by ovvl at 6:35 PM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

First, caress the surface.
posted by rhizome at 7:01 PM on November 12, 2018

I have often wondered if the delightfully obsessive ramen quest from Tampopo would translate into a different cuisine. A Southern Gothic romp through BBQ could be awesome, for instance.
posted by ninazer0 at 7:31 PM on November 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for this film, which I first saw upon it's initial theatrical release in the US. But when I see it now, I find I am always very disturbed about one aspect the primary story line: that all the accomplishments of Tampopo/Dandelion (the main character) on her journey to make and serve a perfect bowl of noodles, are mediated (and judged by) men. It’s very hard for me to watch the film now and not be struck by that aspect of the narrative. From start, and really unto finish, she remains without much real agency, more a creation of Goro and Piskin (and the various other advisors/mentors) than anything else.

Does any one else see that?
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 7:40 PM on November 12, 2018 [7 favorites]

I should watch this movie proper, all I ever knew about it is the omurice. And the restaurant that helped to create the dish is still open in Tokyo -- I genuinely feel like they've never changed their specific oldtimey European-Japanese furnishings - the waiters looked like they got older with the restaurant.
posted by cendawanita at 2:16 AM on November 13, 2018

Tampopo is one of my favorite movies and I am blessed to read such a great thread. The docu-film about the making of Tampopo was fascinating and demonstrates Juzo Itami's great sense of fun. And I am taken with jfwlucy's notion of spotting the film's nods to other movies. The gangster's last scene calls to mind Little Caesar, of course, but it seems to me to be a pair with the snowstorm shooting in Truffaut's Day For Night. That is, the one film has the shooter, the other has the victim. You could intercut them. But it's only a movie (within a movie) and that's part of the joke.
posted by CCBC at 3:39 AM on November 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I loved this film when I somehow saw it shortly after it came out and watched a VHS edition several times, after which it slipped into the obscurity of my memory. Now having a teenage daughter otaku, the memory resurfaced and I obtained a DVD to show her last year, to the delight of all concerned. This timely thread will bring it from the cupboard again and transform our otherwise naive viewing so big thanks to all concerned.

I recently took my daughter to a Japanese Expo in London (living as we do in an area with the cultural diversity of blancmange) where we came across third window films. On the basis of little more than having seen Tampopo, we randomly picked up five films. None of them disappointed in any way - truly wonderful viewing experiences all, and so not Hollywood! If you haven't tried other Japanese films I highly recommend it. Based on our random sample I'd suggest going for anything, but these are the five we started with:
- Fish story
- Memories of Matsuko
- Kamikaze girls
- Fine, totally fine
- The foreign duck, the native duck and God in a coin locker

Now to see if I can find a copy of Taxing Woman that I can actually afford :(
posted by merlynkline at 6:56 AM on November 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

One of the many pleasures of being single and meeting my (now) fiancée, has been introducing her to some of my favorite films, and Tampopo was one of the first.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:46 AM on November 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Nerd Of The North, you may be right, as I haven’t seen that John Ford movie — but it could also be Itami’s homage to Kurosawa’s homage to John Ford. CCBC — Little Caesar, of course! Thank you.
posted by jfwlucy at 6:49 PM on November 13, 2018

I saw this when it first came to the US, and just watched it again thanks to this post.

It's a perfect film.

The making-of video is great too. It's strange to think that the egg-yolk scene had to be shot seven times...
posted by zompist at 11:38 PM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

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