Tampopo: Stereotype


This scene is from Tampopo, directed by Juzo Itami and it is about businessmen having lunch together at the White Tower in Japan. The man who is ordering appears to be an assistant for one of the businessmen. When the businessmen look at the menu, they realize it is all in French.  When the waiter takes the order of every businessman, they are clueless as to what to order. One of the businessmen decides to get the Sole Meuniere, Consomme, and beer.  Following the order of the businessman, the rest of the businessmen order exactly the same food. When the waiter takes the assistant’s order, the assistant displays a great knowledge of French cuisine and French wine.  After hearing the assistant, all the businessmen were taken aback and turned red with embarrassment.

The mise en scene is a close up of the assistant because it seems like he is the main character in this film. Also, it closes up to two businessmen because of their reaction of the assistant’s order.  The background appears to be in a fancy and famous restaurant in Tokyo.  The table set is lavish and the waiter is also dressed in formal attire. When the assistant orders food, his tone is very calm and it seems like he can communicate with the waiter about the French entrées. Also, the waiter seems like he feels comfortable when he communicates with the assistant because he knows how to order the right food. He also seems like he is very knowledgeable about French cuisine. The waiter also writes down what the assistant ordered. When the businessmen ordered, the waiter does not write down on the paper.

This scene seems important because it shows that all the businessmen become shocked and ashamed when the assistant almost flaunts his knowledge about the entrées. The reason why this scene seems very important is that all the businessmen put the assistant down because he seems a bit foolish and slow. When he reads the menu, he seems like he is smart and can speak French. Also, the businessmen’s reactions seem very interesting. They probably think that the assistant does not know how to read the menu in French, but the assistant actually reads the menu and questions how the food is prepared. Also, businessmen order the beer but the assistant orders wine.  This scene seems like Juzo Itami tries to break the stereotype between businessmen and assistants. In reality, businessmen are supposed to know how to read the menu in an expensive restaurant, even if there are different languages. It is because they are more educated and higher class than the assistant. This scene demonstrates that one does not have to be older to have knowledge of something.







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