Hot Docs 2017: Ramen Heads

Cinema Axis

RAMEN_HEADS_04

In Koki Shigeno’s Ramen Heads, the homey Japanese comfort food is lovingly explored, revealing the complex quintessence of broth and noodle.  The documentary focuses on Osamu Tomita, the preeminent ramen chef in Japan and winner of three consecutive end-of-the-year awards for best ramen in the land.

We delve into Tomita’s kitchen and learn his ramen techniques and philosophies, from slow-simmered broths to snappy and succulent noodles made with four types of flour.  The second act of the film traverses Japan, visiting other ramen chefs to showcase their signature styles, which differ radically from Tomita’s.  The final act returns to follow Tomita on his day off, and then document the melding of minds as he and two other masters of ramen dream up a fitting dish to serve at Tomita’s 10th anniversary celebration.

Ramen Heads is mostly a day-in-the-life-of style documentary.  Shigeno asks some questions of Tomita and his…

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