Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Air-doll (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2009)

Sunday 10 September 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: AIR DOLL * (空気人形, Kūki Ningyō) * Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda * 2009 * 116 minutes * In Japanese with English subtitles * Doors open at 20:00, intro & film start at 20:30.

The premise of this flick is quite simple. A middle-aged man has a life-size sex doll he calls Nozomi at home that he makes love to every night. He doesn’t only have sex with Nozomi, he also dresses her up and has dinner with her. What can I say? People are lonely in this overcrowded modern world we live in, especially in big cities like Tokyo that are ironically packed with people. Seems like a contradiction, but is certainly true.

Then something unusual happens – one day the lifeless doll begins to come to life, as if she is suddenly filled with human feelings and a soul. Once this doll starts breathing and moving, she is as confused as anyone else about who she is. Since her owner is away at work, she goes out for a walk trying to understand the world around her, and the story unfolds from there.

As you approach the film, you must remember this is not an American film, which would take cheap shots with such a story and exploit it. Instead, this flick is weirdly humanist, with a sort of melancholic bent. It is Japanese director Kore-eda’s way of mapping out modern life, an attempt to help us see the world around us differently. Starring Korean actress Bae Doo-na as the titular air doll.

This will be a high-definition screening.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net