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 Title
K├╗ki ningy├┤
Title
Air Doll
Directed by
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Country
Japan
Year
2009
Screenplay
Yoshiie Goda, Hirokazu Kore-eda
Film Editing
Hirokazu Koreeda
Soundtrack
World's End Girlfriend
Cinematography
Pin Bing Lee
Sound
Yutaka Tsurumaki
Costumes
Sachiko Ito
Production Design
Yohei Taneda
Production
TV Man Union
Formats
35mm, DVD, DCP
Runtime
116 min.
Language
Japanisch/d + f
Cast
Du-na Bae (Nozomi), Arata (Junichi), Itsuji Itao (Hideo), J├┤ Odagiri, Sumiko Fuji, Tasuku Emoto, Mari Hoshino, Ryo Iwamatsu, Tomomi Maruyama, Miu Naraki, Masaya Takahashi, Susumu Terajima

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Press voices

┬źUn des meilleurs films sortis en 2010!┬╗

20minutes

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

Michael Sennhauser, Radio DRS

┬źDer erste H├Âhepunkt in Cannes: Hirokazu Kore-edas japanisches M├Ąrchen ÔÇ×Air DollÔÇť ├╝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├Âpfer: Sie will verstehen, was Menschsein ausmacht. Aber schliesslich muss sie erkennen, dass die Grossstadtmenschen in ihrer Einsamkeit ein ├Ąhnliches Gef├╝hl der Leere plagt wie sie selbst: ÔÇ×Ein Herz zu bekommen ist herzzerrei├čendÔÇť, lautet die melancholische Bilanz dieses sanft flie├čenden und eigent├╝mlich r├╝hrenden Films.┬╗

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.┬╗

Maggie Lee, The Hollywood Reporter