March’s Movie Selection – Tampopo

Initially marketed as the first “ramen western,” Juzo Itami’s Tampopo is a hilarious take on food and love that also functions as a tribute to spaghetti westerns and chambara films.  Cowboy-hatted truck driver Gorō (Tsutomu Yamazaki) and his sidekick, Gun (a young Ken Watanabe), stop at a small noodle shop where they meet Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto), who soon follows their guidance to learn the “art of noodle soup making” and help her meager business. Vignettes about food are threaded throughout their story, including one set in a class about eating spaghetti, another about a dying housewife’s final meal for her family, and the tale of a gangster and his lover who use kink games to explore the pleasures of eating. Restored in 4K from the original camera negative. A Janus Films release.