Directed by Juzo Itami
Running time: 115 minutes
Tampopo (literally translated as 'dandelion' in English) is a Japanese comedy from 1985, directed by Juzo Itami. Billed by its producers as a 'ramen' western – a playful take on the genre of spaghetti westerns – it follows the story of struggling noodle shop owner and widower Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto, the late Itami's wife) and stars Tsutomu Yamazaki, Koji Yakusho and Ken Watanabe. Goro and Gun (Yamazaki and Watanabe respectively) are a pair of truck drivers who decide to stop at Tampopo's decrepit shop. After rescuing her son Tabo from being beaten up by his schoolmates, Goro challenges an unruly customer to a brawl, but gets knocked out and finds himself waking up in Tampopo's home the following morning. When Tampopo asks Goro his opinion on her noodles, he decides to help her and a quest for the perfect recipe begins which includes stealing recipes from competitors, and gathering advice from various sources including old noodle master (Yoshi Kato) and the food loving chauffeur of wealthy old man, Shohei. With its meandering, sub-narratives that involve musings on the sex/death/food analogy, Tampopo is is an offbeat comedic gem: a multifaceted, Jacques Tati-esque comedy that is as perfectly balanced with different ingredients as a bowl of ramen itself and a complex movie that plays with the genres and language of its own medium.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.