Blu-Ray Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Read Jennie Kermode's film review of Tampopo

Sometimes films we cover get extra stars on Blu-ray because of the quality of the accompanying features. This presents a problem with a film like Tampopo, which is so close to perfection that it gets five tars all by itself, so you will have to take our word for it that the special features in this package would be worth another.

They begin with a Making Of film that is, in essence, director Jûzô Itami's shooting diary. It has the energy and charm of all his work nd makes compelling viewing in its own right. Although any competent director will understand something of every aspect of production, Itami approaches this with a dedication few have equalled, and it's fascinating to witness not only the complexity of his work with actors but his attention to matters like make-up and costuming.

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A interview with Nobuko Miyamoto includes fond memories of Itami as a filmmaker and as a man, and is packed with interesting anecdotes which provide insight into his process and the film itself. There's also an interview with food stylist Seiko Ogawa, who prepared many of he dishes seen in the film and arranged the presentation of others, making her perhaps one of the most successful ambassadors for Japanese cuisine in history. Her accounts, together with those of chefs around the world who discuss how the film influenced them, helps to place it in its proper context in culinary history.

A critical essay on craftsmanship imposes a very Western perspective on a culture that perceives elf-improvement quite differently, creating a skewed interpretation of the film that smothers its subtleties. This is, however, really the only weak link. Itami's debut short film Rubber Band Pistol is a treat made more relevant by the fact that it contains an eating scene o its own, albeit one that takes a very different approach from Tampopo. Finally, there's the original trailer, which will make you hungry all over again.

Reviewed on: 01 May 2017
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A trucker helps a young widow turn her modest ramen shop into a success in a film that contemplates the relationship between food and love.
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Product Code: B06X43RWMH

Region: 2

Extras: The Making Of 'Tampopo'; interview with Nobuko Miyamoto; interview with Seiko Ogawa; The Amateur And The Craftsperson; The Perfect Bowl; Rubber Band Pistol; trailer

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