Tampopo Head and the Name of the Dogs

Short Film, 17 min
Netherlands 2011

Human relationships are the central subject of this experimental narrative film. It's derived from a personal interest in the lives of my acquaintances Ed, a quiet philosophy lover, and Hilko, who lives with six female dogs. In Hilko's house, there is no logical border between a man and his dogs.

The initial inspiration came from an event that left me with an indescribable feeling: Hilko named one of his two puppies “Toshie” after me, and Ed named the other after his own daughter. Triggered by the event, I dived into their universe and consequently embarked on a journey of self-reflection, alongside exploring the philosophical permutations of human-canine relationships and human identity.

Through a fairytale-like narrative, the characters “Janneke”, “Ed”, “Hilko”,“Toshie”, “Dogs”, take roles to examine the relationships between daughter and father, between a man and a woman, between neighbours, between a man and dogs and finally between namesakes, or name-sisters, which explores the relationship between parallel realities – the conflict and harmony that exist in an individuals' perspective.

The film is the contemplation of the naivety and sensitivity of humans, in my process of accepting. And it is also an attempt to create alternative relationships between the subjects.

* The title is adopted from Emmanuel Levinas's essay, The Name of a Dog, or Natural Rights.

HD DVCPRO, colour
Language: English & Japanese
Subtitle: English
Produced in the Netherlands
Distribution by Eye Film Institute Netherlands

Written and Directed by Toshie Takeuchi
Cinematography by Thomas Vroege & Manu Tau
Additional camera work &
Editing by Toshie Takeuchi
Music by Lars Kynde & Nikolaj Kynde
Sound Editing by Rick Haring
Titles design by Eva Temponera
Cast: Hilko, Ed, Janneke van der Putten, Toshie Takechi