air doll    Film director Hirokazu Koreeda’s latest film, Kûki Ningyô (Air Doll) is base on a Manga comic by comic artist Yoshiie Göda. The Japanese filmmaker uses a the life of a blow-up doll to showcase the loneliness of everyday life in the city, the past and it’s also a reflection on fulfilled fantasies, both beautiful and bone-chilling at the same time.
There is nothing new about the story. Luis Garcia Berlanga also made a film about a blow-up love story. Koreeda’s take on the story is a different one though, one that contains that common mixture of naivety and extreme cruelty that characterises Asian cinema. In the film, Koreeda tells the story of the everyday life of an air doll, who, suddenly and entirely naturally, loses her inanimate object form and comes to life. There is almost no dialogue in the film as the story is related through the newborn eyes of the doll. Even the smallest simplest happening or thing can become of huge importance: raindrops falling from rooftops; the mud in the park; the films at the video club…. Through relating with this everything normality, the doll discovers life. Moments of romance run in to others of crudeness, love, sex, unconfessable needs and perversions…all linked together just as in everyday life. The director artfully uses the doll, an object designed for consumption, to show how the discovery by the doll that it is nothing more than an object created to satiate the desires and fantasies of someone else causes it great pain and angst. That’s enough about the film for now. It really is worth the effort to go along and catch all the small detail as the film unfolds. This short article also provides the opportunity to say a few words about Hirozu Koreeda. Apart from his well-known work, he has a special filmography: the documentaries he has made for producers Tv Man Union are an example. We’ll leave that for further and deeper analysis another time. Koreeda and his films are certainly deserving of it.