Artist's Choice, Screening

  • Image: 'Tampopo' (1986), directed by Juzo Itami. Film still courtesy Park Films

tampopo

How far would you go for the perfect ramen? Tampopo is a brilliant underdog story of a roadside ramen shop vying to create the best ramen around.

Directed by Juzo Itami and first released in 1986, the film is a tasty combination of the classic Western and Japan’s meticulous culinary scene. The titular Tampopo is guided in her quest for the perfect recipe by scrappy truck drivers Gun and Gorō.

In wicked parodies of film genres, Gun and Gorō run Tampopo through a rigorous training process, steal secrets of broth-making and challenge other ramen-makers in Spaghetti Western style stand-offs.

The main quest for culinary perfection is intersected with standalone stories about different types of gourmand. From the couple who bring the kitchen into the bedroom, to the salaryman with an uncanny knowledge of French cuisine, to a cautionary tale about squeezing fruit, these vignettes add rich flavours to the delicious broth of Tampopo.

This film has been selected by Jonty Lees, who will give a brief introduction. Jonty is an artist, the curator and founder of Zennor Project Space and director of Pool School Gallery.

The public programme at CAST is currently supported from funds awarded by Arts Council England for the Groundwork programme.