Air Doll

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A story of love and frailty, Air Doll takes the essence of what it means to be human and distills it down to its purest form in this bittersweet love story that smoothly intertwines fantasy and reality.

In a shabby, rundown apartment in an old part of Tokyo, a bright beacon of purity shines into being one day. Silent and motionless, the air doll that belongs to quiet and retiring middle-aged Hideo (Itsuji Itao) has never been anything out of the ordinary. Each evening after work, he chats with her over the dinner table, bathes her and makes love to her before turning in for the night. However, after he leaves the house one day, the air doll begins to twitch and move, miraculously coming to life.

Like a newborn marvelling at the wonder of the world, she is awestruck at the beauty of everything around her. Tottering about in her tiny maid's uniform, she ventures outside the apartment with childlike curiosity. As she wanders through the city, the air doll is enthralled, talking to anyone she finds and trying to comprehend her own ephemeral existence. Though her life is only a few hours old, it changes forever when she walks into a video store and falls helplessly in love with the clerk, Junichi (Arata).

artwork

Credits

Original TitleK没ki ningy么
TitleAir Doll
Directed byHirokazu KORE-EDA
CountryJapan
Year2009
ScreenplayYoshiie Goda, Hirokazu Kore-eda
Film EditingHirokazu Koreeda
SoundtrackWorld's End Girlfriend
CinematographyPin Bing Lee
SoundYutaka Tsurumaki
CostumesSachiko Ito
Production DesignYohei Taneda
ProductionTV Man Union
Formats35mm, DVD, DCP
Runtime116 min.
LanguageJapanisch/d + f
CastDu-na Bae, Itsuji Itao, J么 Odagiri, Sumiko Fuji, Tasuku Emoto, Mari Hoshino, Ryo Iwamatsu, Tomomi Maruyama, Miu Naraki, Masaya Takahashi, Susumu Terajima, Arata

Credits

Original TitleK没ki ningy么
TitleAir Doll
Directed byHirokazu KORE-EDA
CountryJapan
Year2009
ScreenplayYoshiie Goda, Hirokazu Kore-eda
Film EditingHirokazu Koreeda
SoundtrackWorld's End Girlfriend
CinematographyPin Bing Lee
SoundYutaka Tsurumaki
CostumesSachiko Ito
Production DesignYohei Taneda
ProductionTV Man Union
Formats35mm, DVD, DCP
Runtime116 min.
LanguageJapanisch/d + f
CastDu-na Bae, Itsuji Itao, J么 Odagiri, Sumiko Fuji, Tasuku Emoto, Mari Hoshino, Ryo Iwamatsu, Tomomi Maruyama, Miu Naraki, Masaya Takahashi, Susumu Terajima, Arata

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Press voices

芦Un des meilleurs films sortis en 2010!禄

20minutes

芦Da ist einmal mehr die Magie, das Feingef眉hl, die liebevolle Ironie von Kore-eda am Werk, sein Gesp眉r f眉r die menschliche Unsicherheit und die richtigen Fragen im falschen Moment... AIR DOLL ist ein Film 眉ber die Frage, was es bedeutet, ein Mensch zu sein, und was es allenfalls bedeutet, f眉r andere ein Mensch zu sein... Noch lebenswerter aber machen das Leben ganz unzweifelhaft die Filme von Hirokazu Kore-eda.禄

Michael Sennhauser, Radio DRS

芦Der erste H枚hepunkt in Cannes: Hirokazu Kore-edas japanisches M盲rchen 鈥濧ir Doll鈥 眉berragt die Konkurrenz... Wie die vielseitige Koreanerin Bae Doo Na diese Transformation spielt, ist ein subtiles Ereignis. Ihre ruckartigen Bewegungen werden geschmeidig, die ausdruckslosen Augen neugierig: Naiv wie Pinocchio geht die Puppenfrau durch die Welt, sogar bis zu ihrem Sch枚pfer: Sie will verstehen, was Menschsein ausmacht. Aber schliesslich muss sie erkennen, dass die Grossstadtmenschen in ihrer Einsamkeit ein 盲hnliches Gef眉hl der Leere plagt wie sie selbst: 鈥濫in Herz zu bekommen ist herzzerrei脽end鈥, lautet die melancholische Bilanz dieses sanft flie脽enden und eigent眉mlich r眉hrenden Films.禄

Christoph Huber, Die Presse

"Air Doll" is aesthetically so exquisitely packaged, and so tenderly directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda that the urban fairytale about an inflatable sex doll come to life gradually unfurls as an achingly beautiful meditation on loneliness and longing in the city, and a reflective look on a consumerist culture that encourages easy substitutes and disposability, even of humans and feelings.禄

Maggie Lee, The Hollywood Reporter