Originally a novel by Jun Nishimura, Nankyoku Ryorinin (South Pole Chef) was adapted for screenplay and directed by Shuichi Okita. It was released in 2009. As of yet I am to find a version of this film with English subtitles, but I think the fact that I cannot understand all of what is being said enhances the semiotic readings of the text.
Food in cinema can communicate many things – it can symbolize cultural values, ideas, points of view, social status, ideologies and emotions. Most of the time as viewers, we understand without thinking, the symbolic meaning that a certain sign (or in this case food) has, and we soak it up like a paralyzed media sponge.
The film ‘Tampopo’ is a Japanese food cult classic. This is not a film about stereotypical foods like sushi or sashimi that one would associate with Japan but about Ramen. Ramen is a noodle soup that could best be described as the Monkey Magic of Japanese cuisine, originating in China this widely taken for granted food has become more Japanese than wooden sandals and ninjas.
I’ve always been interested in Morocco. Maybe because of its colonial past, or because I am an avid reader of Paul Bowles’ books, but most likely for its one product which is illegal to trade, but always nice to smoke.
A few nights ago I had the pleasure of entertaining a few loose friends from Australia who were in Nippon on route to India. So I decided to take them out for one of the last magnificent feasts in Japan before they hit the land of curry, spice and all things nice. Unbeknown to them (or me) we were about to embark on a journey that would open up a new world – the world of the bluefin tuna head.