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Directed by Juzo Itami

Japan 1986 118 mins. In Japanese

Director Juzo Itami described his oddball “ramen western” comedy as “about people in a situation where sex and eating are not yet clearly separated.” The eponymous Tampopo is a sweet-natured widow and chef at her own roadside restaurant. When cowboy trucker and gastronome Goro stops at the eatery with his sidekick Gun (Ken Watanabe), they are unimpressed by the ramen but charmed enough by Tampopo’s determination to succeed to help her perfect the art of preparing the intricate dish. Tips on such diverse subjects as the Zen of eating ramen (“while slurping the noodles, look at the pork—eye it affectionately”) and some unbelievably erotic things to be done with the yolk of an egg.

Genres: Comedy