Tampopo is not a film you want to go into with an appetite. “Lukewarm ramen is not ramen”- this is a great food film.
Jûzô Itami’s film has a fairly simple premise: Goro and Gun (a young Ken Watanabe) try to help Tampopo – she owns a noodle shop- teacher/student.
There are little vignettes (all dealing with food) throughout- some of them are siloed, and some of them (like Koji Yakusho’s gangster in the white suit) run throughout. The gangster says “you’re at the movies, too?” to the audience breaking the fourth wall to open the film.
With the vignette inserts, there are formal structural issues all over the place. Gun is reading a book, and we get a voice-over of the character he’s reading the book of? Later we’re in Tampopo’s dream somehow?
The playful wipe edits fit the sort of goofy story and loose/playful structure.
Goro is a sort of cowboy has the hat. There’s a little spoof on Rocky with him on a bike as he trains Tampopo in grey sweatpants in a montage.
Some of the little skits are funny- the slurping man during the Italian food eating lessons, the shopkeeper using a flyswatter on a woman in the shop touching all the foods.
The breastfeeding final credits is a headscratcher as well—a prolonged take slowly zooming in—I assume the point is we all like to eat? Haha
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