One of the most beloved, fun and mouthwatering Japanese movies of the 1980s, Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo” has been sitting in the fridge for far too long. Fortunately, with Janus Films’ stunning 4K restoration set to open at Film Forum on Friday (whetting appetites for the inevitable Criterion Collection release to follow), people can finally get another taste of the one and only “ramen western.”
A glorious stew that combines the best parts of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” “Amélie” and “Babette’s Feast,” Itami’s classic tells the savory story of a widowed restaurant owner named Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamato) who’s down on her luck and in desperate need of some new recipes. But Tampopo’s luck begins to change when a pair of ronin-like truck drivers — including a young Ken Watanabe — stop for a bite at her place and rededicate their lives to spicing up her noodles.
READ MORE: ‘Daughters of the Dust’ Restoration Trailer: Julie Dash’s Seminal Independent Film Returns To Theaters This FallDon’t fret, that’s not a euphemism, but the delightfully episodic film does get a bit saucy from time to time, especially when it comes to a subplot involving a gangster (the legendary Kōji Yakusho) and his lover (Fukumi Kuroda) who really like to play with their food.
This is a wonderful movie, the perfect thing to warm you up on an early fall evening or spirit you away from the outside world for a couple of hours, and — as promised in Janus’ brand new trailer for the film, which you can watch below exclusively — Film Forum will be sweetening the deal by offering ramen-flavored popcorn at the concession stand.
And for New Yorkers who want the full “Tampopo” experience, Janus will be setting up a pop-up at Diner on October 19 in celebration of the film, beginning at midnight and running until 4am or whenever they run out of bowls.
“Tampopo” opens at Film Forum on October 21 (where Tampopo herself will be in attendance for opening weekend shows!), at the Landmark Nuart in Los Angeles on October 28 and then at selected theaters across the country after that.
Check out our exclusive trailer for the new restoration below.