Quirky cult Japanese food comedy Tampopo getting 4k restoration and theatrical rerelease


To paraphrase Roger Ebert, Juzo Itami’s 1985 Japanese comedy Tampopo seems to exist outside of traditional categories. It’s a movie I remember enjoying a lot when I rented it in high school, with its oddball exploration of food and sex and notions of epicurean etiquette. Tampopo is often been referred to as a “noodle western” since it builds on old west tropes to tell the story of a trucker who helps a family-owned noodle shop.

Janus Films is bringing Tampopo back to the big screen for the first time in almost 30 years. The film will hit theaters in a brand new 4k restoration. This all seems like a prelude to an eventual Criterion Collection release.

While I don’t remember much about Tampopo (it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve seen it), I do remember the following surreally sexy egg yolk foreplay scene.

Well, who needs a cigarette? Or a napkin? Maybe both? And some mouthwash. No, how about some ramen to go with the egg?

Here’s another scene from Tampopo that’s more restrained in how peculiar it is. It notably features a young Ken Watanabe (InceptionGodzilla) in one of his earliest roles.

Tampopo will open at Film Forum in New York on October 21st, Nuart in Los Angeles on October 28th, and additional cities in the weeks after.

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.