Features and Columns · Movies

Pain is Temporary, Food is Forever: The Themes of ‘Tampopo’

This world needs fewer RaBOYS and more RaMEN
By  · Published on October 17th, 2022

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at the themes of perseverance and food in the movie Tampopo.

There are a number of incredible films focused on the vital role food plays in human life. Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers; Big Night; Eat, Drink, Man, WomanBabette’s Feast … Ratatouille. There’s a reason there are so many incredible films thematically grounded on the restorative importance of a good meal: food is a cornerstone of community, family, and self-care. It’s an expression of love. It’s a way that we take care of those around us. And like cinema, it’s a way that we express ourselves: bringing together different elements and talents to create a sum far greater than all of its component parts.

And you can’t talk about quintessential “food movies” without talking about TampopoDirected by Jûzô Itami (The FuneralA Taxing Woman), the 1985 film follows a widowed ramen chef (Nobuko Miyamoto) who is coached by a wandering stranger (Tsutomu Yamazaki) into becoming a world-class noodle-slinger. Interspersed throughout the film are genre-spanning vignettes musing on the different roles food plays in our lives.

If you haven’t sampled Tampopo‘s supremely silly and sumptuous goods, the following video essay will certainly stoke your hunger. You’ll never look at egg yokes the same way.

Watch “‘Tampopo’ – The Humanity Of Food & Perseverance”:

Who made this?

This video essay on the themes of sustenance and resilience in Tampopo is by You Have Been Watching Films. United Kingdom-based writer Oliver Bagshaw produces the channel, creating video essays on an assortment of movies, from cult to classic strains of cinema history. You can subscribe to their YouTube channel here.

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Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.