2017, Koki Shigeno, Japan, 93 min.
- Fri, Apr 20th 4:00pm
- Sat, Apr 21st 3:00pm
- Wed, Apr 25th 8:15pm
"A history lesson, a state of the nation, and many steamy close-ups of the various bowls make RAMEN HEADS a mindfully aware ode to the complexity of everyday things." - Kurt Halfyard, Screen Anarchy
"Food porn at its finest, you will want to devour the screen." - Charles Trapunski, BriefTake
Sushi is fancy; ramen is hearty. A meal at a top-notch sushi establishment will set you back hundreds of dollars; a bowl of the world's best ramen goes for $8. To get that fabled bowl, you need to go to Ramen Tomita, the domain of chef/owner Osamu Tomita, in Masuto, Japan. This engaging documentary provides a compact history of ramen and a survey of different styles of the scrumptious noodle broth, but the main focus is on Tomita himself. A self-proclaimed "ramen head," the cheerful, intense chef is at his post every day from opening to closing (he doesn't even take bathroom breaks); on his days off, he eats at other ramen joints. His award-winning elixir (which he describes as "more extreme" than other chefs') includes a blend of four different broths and extra-long noodles refined over the years for "maximum slurpability." RAMEN HEADS, though, is more than a catalog of recipe minutiae; it is an ode to artistic devotion and ephemeral pleasures - "something that exists in the moment." In Japanese with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)