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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Air Doll" or "Kūki ningyō')

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Japan 200
9

 

Award-winning filmmaker Kore-eda Hirokazu explores what it means to be human through the experiences of an unlikely heroine: an Air Doll. Appearing in her second Japanese film after Linda Linda Linda, acclaimed Korean actress Bae Du Na stars as an inflatable sex doll that comes to life in the aesthetically and emotionally beguiling fantasy drama based on Goda Yoshiie's manga. Breathing life and charm into her quirky character, Bae Du Na delivers a charming performance that is both whimsical and heartbreaking, and daringly bares all for the film's nude scenes. Arata (Snakes and Earrings), Itsuji Itao (Love Exposure), and Odagiri Joe (Warrior and the Wolf) play the three men who open her eyes to the compassion and cruelty of being human.


Nozomi (Bae Du Na) is an inflatable air doll, nothing more than a sex object for her lonely, doting owner Hideo (Itao Itsuji), but she gradually develops self-awareness. One day, while her owner is at work, she steps out of the apartment for the first time. Leaving the grasps of her owner, the wide-eyed doll ventures out into a poetic new world full of curious personalities and adventures, and falls headfirst in love with dour video store clerk Junichi (Arata).

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 14th, 2009 - Cannes

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DVD Review: Bandai/ Asmik Ace - Region 2 - NTSC

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Distribution Bandai / Asmik Ace - Region 2 - NTSC
Runtime 1:56:08 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, Japanese, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Bandai

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer(1:54) 

DVD Release Date: March 26th, 2010

White Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

Kind of a fascinating Pinocchio / Blade Runner / social commentary fable by Hirokazu Koreeda. It's equal parts amusing poignant, a little sexy and... cool. It touches on so many human themes including loneliness, self-deception, objectification, love, aging, jealousy, fetishism, and desire among others. You really can't guess what will happen next and this adds to the appeal. I really enjoyed the bizarre premise and observant take on disposability. Absolutely a 'thumbs up' for the film.

The dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive SD transfer looks decent for the DVD medium. While there aren't a lot of spectacular visuals in Air Doll I'd still have liked to see this in Blu-ray. It's amazing how much Bae Du Na was made to resemble an inanimate sex-doll. Everything, image-wise, is flatter, less brilliant and more dull than HD would relate but it still looked acceptable on my system and gave me a rewarding presentation. The film is less about appearance and more on examining the 'modern' human condition - which this director seems to do so well.

There are optional English subtitles and only a trailer as an extra. I believe there is a 'limited edition' available with the same A/V transfer but some extra features (supplements probably not subtitled). Koreeda fans (Maborosi, Hana: Tale of a Reluctant Warrior, Nobody Knows, Distance, After Life etc.) will want to indulge as I have no idea if it will ever reach region 1. This will definitely keep you interested and we recommend to the more open-minded.  

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution Bandai / Asmik Ace - Region 2 - NTSC



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