Posts from 1st November 2009

Nov 09

Three Films About Tokyo: 2: Air Doll

Do You See + FT1 comment • 918 views

Whilst I hate answering the question “what is your favourite movie”, there is a fair chance that if you ask me, and I give you an answer, it will be After-Life directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Ten years old now its a terrific fantasy about an after-life based on film-making. It hits all the right buttons with me. Not a Tokyo movie, unlike Kore-eda’s powerful Nobody Knows which I also saw a few years ago (if you follow the link you will find a terrible mistake I made which I thought was significant). So I was looking forward to Air Doll at the London Film Festival immensely, Kore-eda’s new film and his first comedy.

Or should I have said “comedy”. Because it isn’t funny. It is twee, whimsical and wonderful to look at, but is fatally flawed with its decision to not just play its fantastic premise straight, but also to suggest there is metaphorical weight in it. Because Air Doll, is about a sex doll that comes to life. Its Pinochio for the XXX generation. The film does not use much in the way of special effects to make the transformation occur, or indeed explain it, but just know that the doll Nozomi does not walk around in a permanent state of surprise: she wasn’t that kind of doll.