Just a list of Asian films I've seen so far. As complete as I can remember them/have them logged on…
An "air doll" suddenly come to life one day. Without her owner knowing, she goes for a walk around town and falls in love with Junichi. She starts to date Junichi and gets a job at the same store where he works. Everything seems to be going perfect for her until something unexpected happens.
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda (Fourth Film)
A film about loneliness in the big city - which couldn't be any truer to me, someone who lives in a big city (London) and yearns to leave the big city forever, never to come back, never to feel the cold handed loneliness of the big city because the big city is shitty and the big city isn't what I want it to be.
The "Big City" represents everything wrong with society - essentially a chasm to store humans so they can safely work and fuck in their own little freedoms. Freedoms *given* to them by those with freedoms themselves. We are often told that we are completely free but that is not…
Air Doll is the story of Nozomi (Bae Doona), an inflatable sex doll who miraculously comes to life! The film follows Nozomi as she explores life outside her owner's home during the hours he is away at work. Fueled by curiousity she starts to interact with the local people and even finds herself a job at the local video store.
The story starts with Nozomi's first tentative excursions outside and provides humour from her limited and confused view of humans causing some funny interactions. The film's main theme is the isolation of modern city life (Nozomi is told by a local 'most people are empty inside') and it shows well how people, although lonely, will pass many others in the…
It is the little things which breathe life into Air Doll. Like how Kore-eda chooses to comment on humanity through a blow-up doll protagonist. How an old man talking about the hollowness of modern humans is ironically affirming for such protagonist (one of the most delightfully surprising moments I have come across in my recent cinema viewing). How an in-film flurry of giddy film buff references refreshingly take on new meaning when pondered by an unwitting newbie (Me & Earl & the Dying Girl would be green with envy). Kore-eda's best work is both lightly charming and subtly devastating in its realism, and by extension his body of work is at its most signature when engaging with questions of humanity through the…
Upon this my second viewing of the film, I am convinced that despite its seemingly bizarre plot, this may well be one of the most feminist oriented films to come out in the past decade. Furthermore, given its serene and delightful cinematic charm, I am also coming around on Hirokazu Kore-eda being a sleeper for one of the best filmmakers working today.
"A blow-up doll comes to life!"
Sounds like a premise for a raunchy adult comedy, right? Well, guess what? That's actually the opposite of what Air Doll really is. No, I'm not going to rant about how I was tricked and how mad I am I didn't get two hours of sex jokes. Because what I DID get, however, is a sad, poetic, beautiful (hauntingly so at times) examination of innocence, and the loss of it.
For a lot of the movie, there's a sweet, child-like curiosity about it, as blow-up doll Nozomi (played by Korean-born Bae Doona), gains a heart and begins to explore the world, learning more about her surroundings, about herself, and about other people she creates…
Air Doll is like a modern version of Pinocchio but female. The doll here is just a substitute for handling sexual desire.
This is a tale about a doll, finding once a "heart". She goes out and discovers - with an innocent, naive, childish look - the world... a lonely, loosely world, in which, as she described, "we lead our scattered lives, perfectly unaware of each other or at times allowed to find it the other's presence disagreeable" despite the fact that "life is contructed in a way that no one can fulfill it alone, life contains its own absence which only an other can fulfill".
After describing these sad human relationships in post-industrial urban areas leading to loneliness, sexual…
If Toy Story was an adult film...
There's a degree to which, watching this in motion, I almost don't feel like it should work at all. Not because of the premise, which I think is at the very least fairly intriguing, but rather, in actual practice, it feels like Koreeda's softball sensibilities might be a little mismatched with the material. I'm a big fan of his unabashed sentimentalism, I hugely enjoyed both Like Father, Like Son and Our Little Sister, but I don't think Koreeda ultimately ends up selling just how eye-opening the world is to Bae's titular character. You see it at times throughout, I'd say, especially, when the movie has to be anything but very tender it rarely can especially much accomplish it, ala the…
A heavyweight film concerning a featherlight protagonist. No fairy, all tale.
Something different from Hirokazu Koreeda's usual but it doesn't disappoint. Koreeda, as I've said previously, wields a gentle yet powerful touch when portraying his stories and Air Doll is just that. To transform an air doll/sex doll into a "human" by allowing her to find a heart in itself is already a very "human" story, after all, it is our heart that gives us feelings, makes us feel emotions and ultimately, symbolizes what it means to live.
Air Doll doesn't try to be too hard. It doesn't wallow you into questioning your existence or does it try to be sentimental. Instead, it gives you a different view on life -- from someone who is trying to understanding it and "living"…
Oberdan con Luca
A film that speaks volumes of isolation as an acute disease that strikes those within the parameters of the urban jungle. Intelligent but slow, though.
Besproken in aflevering 009
(Segment: Roll The Dice)
Aren't we all empty inside? Isn't human existence utterly futile?
This film heavily deals with loneliness and hopelessness. What an experience watching this was. Air Doll is a literal Metafiction. I felt so empty when I watched this and felt even more emptier. Made so by the film's pacing and the lengthy third act. Koreeda poignantly depicts the loneliness that we all experience which we only are aware of and above all, how hollow humanity is.
"I found myself with a heart -- a heart I heart I wasn't supposed to have."
To really understand this film, the idea of an Air Doll coming into life should be taken lightly. For one, it really is absurd and would never happen…
Si queremos transmitir algo difícil, que en principio puede ser demasiado delicado para el común de los mortales, encontrar el modo de hacerlo accesible depende nada más que de encontrar una buena idea. Un paralelismo afortunado. Y a partir del propio juego que nos de esa idea, podremos desarrollar aquello que queremos decir.
Air Doll es una película sobre la soledad, la pérdida y lo que significa estar vivos, pero también es la historia de una muñeca hinchable que cobra vida. ¿Dónde se guarda aquí el paralelismo? Que la labor de las muñecas hinchables, además de la sexual, es lograr que la gente se sienta menos sola. Aunque resulta difícil delimitar que vino antes, si la gallina o el huevo…
IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Preserving this list for posterity as it disappeared.
RIP Allan Fish, your film taste and writing lives on.