March 09, 2011

Favorite Flicks: Tampopo

Welcome to a new series here on the blawg dedicated to my favorite movies with an emphasis on their more stylish moments. I'm starting with Juzo Itami's 1986 masterpiece, Tampopo. If you're a japanophile or a foodie, you will love it. There are also some great 80s clothes. 
Billing itself as a "ramen western", Tampopo is a comedy about food and its role in japanese culture.  Although there is an over-arching story line, the movie is non-linear with multiple subplots and unnamed characters. 
It is a actually a meta-film which begins when a Bonnie and Clyde-style couple enter a movie theater.
(the white lace gloves are perfect, no?)
After a mouthwatering introduction and overview of etiquette, the real story begins. (Fyi: you do get to see more of this charming couple later on.)
(There's a lot of all white or cream outfits in this movie.)
It's a stormy night when Goro, a truck-driver, and his co-pilot, Gun, enter a small ramen shop.
Here they meet Tampopo, the struggling owner/cook who has inherited the shop from her late husband. A local thug keeps pressuring her to sell the shop and marry him, but she refuses. After Goro fights off the thug, he and Gun stay overnight with Tampopo. When she realizes  Goro's noodle know-how, she begs him to train her. She and her shop's transformation are the movie's main focus.
Through practice, research and stealth, Tampopo and Goro develop the perfect ramen recipe and technique.
I like the mixed patterns of her outfit. 
Not only does the shop get a makeover, so does Tampopo herself (no pictures so I wont' ruin the surprise).
This movie also features excellent men's fashion, basically 80s does 30s gangstas:
There's also no shortage of stylish, beautiful women. One scene focuses on a western dining etiquette lesson for ladies. Killer 80s power-bitch fashions ensue:
Then there is this lady, although only featured on screen for 30 seconds, her beauty has left a lifelong impression on me:
so wish I could style my hair that way.
The funniest and most satisfying scene for me involves an executive business lunch. (I can't say more without giving it away.)
(add 4 exclamation marks to the subtitle and it sums up my feels for this scene)
I wanted to end with this film still because I find it so beautiful, almost painterly:
I hope you will watch Tampopo soon. I got so hungry writing this, I had to take a break and visit my local ramen shop (really). If you've already seen it, please let me know what you think. I would most especially like to hear from any japanese readers.

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  1. Do you think it will get to Spain Melina'???
    It looks so interesting that I wish it would.

  2. I'm not sure. It was released in 1986 to quite a bit of critical

  3. thesixsixsickgirlsMarch 11, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    I love this movie! My friend Jules from Bijules was inspired by this film for her new jewelry collection, you should check it out!

  4. thanks I will! I love to find things inspired by my favorite movies/

  5. I am extremely intrigued. I remember this is one of your longtime recommendations for me, and seeing stills + a plot outline has helped whet my appetite (ahahahaha) for seeing it.
    When you said you were doing a movie post, I thought this meant dressing up as a character from a movie... that's your next challenge!


looking forward to hearing from you!