Initially marketed as the first “ramen Western,” Jûzô 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” to bolster her meager business. Threaded throughout their story are vignettes about food, 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. 

The only thing as good as a great movie is great food.  This hilarious, beautiful, surreal masterpiece has both!  Buy concessions, prepare for the screening with Japanese breakfast, lunch, and dinner beforehand (then you’ll probably want second dinner after.)  – Daniels