Today, our new 4K restoration of Juzo Itami’s 1985 “ramen western” Tampopo opens at New York’s Film Forum in the film’s first U.S. theatrical run in decades. The erotic allure of food fuels this tale of a truck driver and his band of friends, who come to the aid of a noodle shop owner’s widow as she tries to establish herself as a first-class ramen chef. To celebrate the film’s re-release, we’ve compiled a selection of articles and videos that give you a taste of this outrageous culinary comedy.
- Describing the film’s rapturous international reception upon its initial release, Film Comment’s Michael Sragow muses that “if Itami had managed to revive AromaRama or Smell-o-Vision, or had come up with scratch-and-sniff cards to match the scents of soy, onion, and wasabi, the movie might never have stopped running.”
- Over at Indiewire, David Ehrlich writes that “Itami’s fiercely beloved film unfolds like a prix fixe tasting menu of strange comic delights, the director’s fabulist sensibilities feeding into an episodic foodie fantasia about all of the things that give life its flavor and make it worth savoring.”
- Check out the trailer for the film’s re-release:
- “Food isn’t just consumed in Tampopo,” writes Serena Donadoni in the Village Voice. “Every bite is an ode to life.”
- Slate’s Dan Kois praises the film’s gastronomical extravagance: “Itami piles every ingredient imaginable into his bowl, but who cares? It’s delicious, and you’ll slurp up every bite.”
- Fandor’s Ravinder Kingra asks, “Has there ever been a film about food that so thoroughly has the courage of its convictions? A film that throws caution to the wind and revels in genre-bending and sex and the childish joy of slurping spaghetti? A film that tackles love, death, grief, toothache, and oenophilic vagabonds with such relish and respect?”
- MUBI’s Adrian Curry surveys a selection of noodle-laden Tampopo posters, including our new one-sheet, designed by Brooklyn-based illustrator Ping Zhu.
- Read Lucky Peach’s rundown of all the regional varieties of ramen in Japan. Those catching the re-release at Film Forum can find the article reprinted as a pocket guide!
- On Wednesday night, we celebrated Tampopo with a ramen pop-up at Diner, in Brooklyn, hosted by Andrew Tarlow of Diner and Ray De Guzman and Sam White of Oakland’s Ramen Shop. Photographer Grant Delin captured the festivities in the video below. (A big thanks to everyone on the Ramen Shop and Diner teams.)