Posts Tagged ‘ Watanabe Ken ’

Great Classics: Tampopo (Itami, 1985)

Who doesn’t love food?

Itami Juzo’s Tampopo is a heartwarming film about people who love, and are often obsessed with, food.  The main narrative follows two truck drivers, Gun (Yamazaki Tsutomu) and Goro (Watanabe Ken) who stumble upon a run down, unpopular ramen noodle shop.  The shop’s owner, Tampopo (Miyamoto Nobuko), is running it all by herself and isn’t too experienced in the “art” of making good ramen.  After a brawl, Gun and Goro take it upon themselves to improve Tampopo’s cooking and redefine her shop.  The film not only focuses on this narrative, but is interspersed with brilliantly transitioned scenes of people’s interaction with food: a white-suited yakuza (Yakusho Koji) and his mistress perform erotic acts with food, a group of homeless turn out to be master chefs, a young corporate subordinate upstages all of his superiors with his knowledge of French cuisine at an expensive dinner, an old lady sneaks around in a supermarket just to feel the food, among others. Continue reading

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J-Drama: The Best of 2000-2009 (In My Opinion), #1-5

Japanese dramas (TV).  The addiction of housewives, young girls, learners of Japanese, and fans of beautiful people.  Often knocked for their low-level of cinematography, acting, and general filming woes, J-Dramas nonetheless attract countless numbers of native Japanese as well as people around the world who thrive off of custom subtitling groups and free distribution sites via Livejournal, other blogs, or the popular Daddicts.  What’s the draw?  Well, it depends on who you ask.  Most watch J-Dramas for their favorite actors/actresses, some watch them for their dramatic, effective, slowly-unfolding stories, others watch them to improve their Japanese or just to kill time.  There’s a certain emotional weight to some J-Dramas that draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the series finishes. Continue reading