Ana Lily Amirpour’s Taste for Tampopo

Today is National Noodle Day, and to mark the occasion we’ve whipped up our own celebratory offering: a tribute to that summit of foodie cinema, Juzo Itami’s 1985 Tampopo, by the talented young filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour. By turns lyrical, playful, and petrifying, Amirpour’s two highly distinctive features—2014’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, a vampire noir set in an Iranian ghost town, and the recently released The Bad Batch, a sun-bleached cannibal love story that takes place in a dystopian no-man’s-land—attest to her dexterity in combining disparate generic ingredients. It’s no mystery, then, why she’s particularly drawn to Itami’s film, which mixes western tropes with surreal comedy in telling the story of a widow in pursuit of the perfect ramen recipe, along the way spinning off into several digressive episodes that display a wide array of human appetites. In the video below, Amirpour talks about what she admires in Tampopo, a movie that she says is “100 percent guaranteed” to leave you with a healthy craving for noodles.

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