by Chris MaGee
All of us here at the Pow-Wow got very excited last month when details of Hirokazu Kore-eda's next film "Kuuki Ningyou" hit the net. Far from most people's expectations the film, starring "Linda, Linda, Linda" and "The Host" star Bae Doo-Na, wasn't about some kind of alien creature even though Kore-eda had hinted that it would be about "...a non-human creature that behaves like a human and even falls in love with a human after it learns to communicate." In actual fact the film turned out to be an adaptation of Yoshiie Goda's manga of the same name which revolves around an inflatable sex doll who one day comes to life.
We've been keeping a close eye on the web to see if any more details crept out and a quick search revealed that the official site for "Kuuki Ningyou" went live just in the past week. There's not much there yet, but the site does include the new image of Bae (above) as the inflatable doll. You can visit the site here.
Meanwhile Japanese language film site Cinema Topics Online has got a slightly more detailed synopsis of the plot. Excuse me for paraphrasing a bit here, but my Japanese is very rusty: the kuuki ningyou, or "air doll" of the film's title is owned by a man named Hideo. One day while he's at work the doll comes to life and ventures out into the city. On one of her trips she stumbles across a video store and meets Junichi who works there part-time. Suddenly the doll experiences something she's never felt before... feelings. (At least that's what I can glean between my bad Japanese and Google translate.) Those more proficient in written Japanese kind find the brief synopsis here, but the added treat is that Cinema Topics online has a few extra images from the film here.
This is quickly turning into my most highly anticipated film of the year; a modern day Pinocchio from one of my very favorite directors. Kore-eda hopes to have "Kuuki Ningyou" ready for the fall and I'm hoping the Toronto International Film Festival. (I hope... I pray...)