For me, the best way to relax on weekends is to watch movies. Sometimes, they can be the best remedy for fatigue, stress, boredom, sadness, and other such feelings that accompanied you throughout the week. So I’m thinking of sharing with you, each week, one movie that helped me detach from reality, and helped me enrich my visual repertory.
For this week, I chose Air Doll, a movie directed by Hirokazu Koreeda.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
As in many Japanese movies, the plot synopsis is either hard to put into words, or (if you manage that) the words don’t do it justice, so please bear with me. The movie is about a sex doll, named Nozomi, who is the sole companion of a middle aged man. He treats her as a human being, and one day, as he is away at work, the doll starts to come to life. And from here on, the weird delicate beauty of the movie unravels, but you will have to experience that on your own.
WHY DID I LIKE IT?
Air Doll is a tender visual metaphor about the unbearable lightness of life, and love, and human connection. Koreeda’s dreamy visual style captures Nozomi’s coming to life, her discovery of love and suffering in a world where people are so afraid to experience such emotions that they isolate themselves. They replace humanity with inanimate objects so they can protect themselves from pain. The director’s camera is floating through typically Japanese settings at a leisurely pace, mostly observing, sometimes even wandering, and it allows us, the viewers, to rediscover reality through Nozomi’s eyes. The soundtrack is composed by World’s End Girlfriend and it goes so well with the atmosphere of the movie that it merges you deep into Koreeda’s magical realism.
IS THERE ANY FASHION IN IT?
The female character of the movie, impeccably interpreted by Bae Doona, has a limited wardrobe, composed mainly of fetishistic costumes (housemaid costume, nurse costume), due to her initial nature. They reminded me of Marc Jacobs collaboration with Richard Prince, way back when Marc was designing for Louis Vuitton, and of Murmur’s “Roleplay” collection.
Nozomi’s outfits, when she starts coming to life, become innocent, resembling a young girl’s wardrobe, in pale colors and fluid materials. Her style can easily be described as eerie, and fragile, as her existence.