Author Archives: hkim0724

Food Reflecting Classes

Food Reflecting Classes
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In the movie called, Tampopo, there is a scene where these old guys at a French restaurant ordering exactly the same food except the youngest one. I though it is very random to have this kind of scene in the middle of the movie talking about ramen. However, as I think more deeply and relate this scene with the story of the whole movie, I noticed that it has an important meaning as well as ironic elements. The director did not just put this scene randomly but to tell important message to audiences.
For the mis-en-scene in the scene, you can see the menu which is in French, luxury table with white flowers on the top, atmosphere seems pretty heavy and uncomfortable. You can also see that they are in one big unit all by themselves which kind of tells that they are in an important business meeting or something like that. A heavy and uncomfortable atmosphere in the scene shows their relationship, obviously not friends, but most likely to be in a business relationship. The luxury table and the menu in French language reflect that they are in a luxury and pricy French restaurant. By these elements, it is predictable that these guys are in high classes.
This is the scene where older guys get surprised when the youngest guy orders his food very familiarly. When the waiter comes in the room and asks these guys for orders, they all glance at each other because they do not know what to order. It is pretty funny when they pretend to know the menus but eventually order exactly the same, even the sides, with the first guy. On the other hand, the youngest guy at the end actually studies the menus when others glance at each other, and he orders totally different food with other guys. When the youngest guy seems familiar with French menus and knows what to order for himself, other guys look at him like it is very unexpected and a surprise that he knows well about French food.
French food tends to be more high class people’s food in the scene I chose. High class people seem to prefer luxury and pricy food like French food to show off their level of classes. I thought it an irony that the old guys do not even know what is in the menu so they all order the same food and pretend that they are familiar with French food just not to be embarrassed. I think this scene reflects the reality of high class people preferring such a food just to show off their classes but actually not very familiar with it.
The whole story of Tampopo focuses on ramen, and it seems more like lower class people’s food throughout the movie. The point is that people seem so proud of their own recipes of making ramen and they even have their own preferences. It means that they know well about what they are eating at least unlike the old guys in the scene.