by Chris MaGee
Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest film "Air Doll" might not have lonely men rushing to sex shops to pick up inflatable lovers (lord, I hope not), but it has definitely raised the profile of more-real-than-real love dolls that are manufactured to sate the male libido. "Air Doll" is an exquisite film about the figurative emptiness of the inhabitants of Tokyo and the literal emptiness of Nozomi, the air doll of the title played by Korean actress Bae Doo-na, but in the end it skirts the darker repercussions of a plastic and latex doll that men buy to, well, fuck. Leave it up to documentarian and experimental filmmaker Kenji Murakami to come along and bridge that gap with his latest film "Dakishimetai love doll!"
Murakami has spent a decade exploring the complex emotional and psychological territory of desire with personaal documentaries like "Tel-Club" (1999) which saw him involved in "telephone clubs" or services that allow lonely, horny men the chance to chat with teen girls, and "Fujica Single Date" which ostensibly is a love letter to the Fujica Super 8mm film that is now sadly obsolete, but also features Murakami filming his extra-marital with this precious and now rare film stock. Murakami's work is definitely not easy and it pushes buttons, but it seems like he's the perfect candidate to make a film on sex dolls, and he puts the modern obsession with them right up front and center here.
"Dakishimetai love doll!" is set to open at Tokyo's Eurospace Theatre on October 10th. Check out more on this fascinating sounding film at its official website and see just how beautiful this film looks in the trailer below.