When Juzo Itami brought TAMPOPO to HIFF 1990
It is such a treat to present Juzo Itami’s classic ‘ramen western’ TAMPOPO back to the big screen. One of the most beloved Japanese films of all time, the late Itami’s unique and biting satirical perspectives on Japanese society. Although his unexpected apparent suicide in 1997 was shrouded in a media frenzy scandal, he left a body of work that showcased him as one of the most dynamic directors working in the latter half of the 20th Century.
Jeannette Paulson-Hereniko, the founding director of the Hawaii International Film Festival, was able to bring Director Itami and his wife actress Nobuko Miyamoto to HIFF 1990, where six films including TAMPOPO, were presented to sold out and appreciative audiences. The screenings were held at the old Consolidated Varsity Twins and seminars and talks at the East West Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. HIFF was the first American film festival to present a retrospective of his works.
Itami’s attendance at the Festival followed a previous retrospective that was held at HIFF 1985, which was made possible with the help of the foremost Japanese film scholar of the time, Donald Richie, and Madam Kawakita of the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute. Films such as A TAXING WOMAN and THE FUNERAL were screened in that first retrospective.
Now, 27 years later, we are honored to screen the beloved TAMPOPO on the big screen at the HIFF Spring Showcase. It is screening on April 1, 3:00pm at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18. Mahalo to Jeannette Paulson-Hereniko for providing photos.