Thursday, October 27, 2011

Air Doll (2009)

A heartwrenchingly beautiful urban fairytale, Air Doll seeks to answer what it is to be human. Hirokazu Kore-Eda directs the film adapted from the manga of the same title with sensitivity and precision. Reminiscent of Hollywood films such as Splash, MannequinBlade Runner, Real Life Doll and even Pinnocchio, Air Doll pushes the boundaries of relationships with inanimate objects whilst exploring the desperate isolation of our empty urban existence.

Middle-aged Hideo is a waiter who dotes on a lifesize sex doll he keeps at home as his wife.  He dresses her, takes her out for walks ( in a wheelchair) and talks to her over dinner; highlighting not only his isolation and loneliness, but of his disconnection with other humans and society.

Bae Doo-Na portrays Nozomis , the sex doll, granted life with an whimsical, fae like presence, delighting in the adventure before her. Her child like wonderment is fresh and endearing.  She explores downtown Tokyo, observing the masses but returns every evening to take her place as the complacent plastic wife.

Although seeing a young lady wandering the streets in the middle of the day in a skimpy maids outfit may raise eyebrows within most western societies, the Japanese tend to be very open with eccentricities without highlighting or commenting on them.

Despite Bae being naked a great deal of time, the film does not come across as crass or pornographic. It presents questions about the role of women within society through Nozomis belief that her only function is to provide sexual pleasure. However, morality is not highlighted within the film and appears to be skirted around neatly.

The main plot follows Nozomi taking on a job at a nearby video shop and the blossoming love she develops with a co-worker.  After her owner/ husband replaces her with a new plastic sex doll, she seeks her designer, shocked to find that she is a “low rent model.”

Secondary characters encountered throughout the film all search for connection.

Of particular note, the transformation scene is beautifully shot, where the doll creeps slowly out of bed, squeaking its plastic way down to a window and gradually turning to soft skin.

The climax had the opportunity of being incredibly touching, but like the air doll, whimpers as the hot air escapes slowly.

The film leaves the viewer saddened at the human condition of isolation. It swaps quickly from cynical to mystical and at nearly two hours long, may drag for many. Its definitely one of those ‘foreign films’ that needs to be on your list, if not only for Bae Doo-Na’s huge eyes and half smile.

Theatrical Poster Via Wiki

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Lorax - Halloween Pumpkin template AND teaser on new film!

What better way to celebrate Halloween than to create a Lorax O’ Lantern for all to see?

"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" remains one of my favourite books, its message transversing time and becoming more chilling as I get older.  I was delighted to find out that its being made into an animated movie with the likes of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift as voices. As part of their lead up to its release in March next year, they have created a fun - and free- carving template for Halloween.

Use this free pumpkin carving template and bring The Lorax to life on your front step. Make sure you are following The Lorax on Facebook and if you decide to use the template share your creation there!

In case you’ve not heard of this masterful childrens story, "The Lorax" , written by Dr. Seuss' is a classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. It warns humanity of the dangers of its destructive and mindless direction its currently taking.

The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it, he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic young boy who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Ashley, the girl of Ted's dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O'Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted's wise Grammy Norma.

"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" is the third feature created by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment ("Despicable Me," "Hop") - and its in 3D-CGI. I can’t wait!!

Details about the film 

Release Date              March 2, 2012

Studio                         Universal Pictures

Starring                      Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle and Betty White

Directed By                 Chris Renaud

Screenplay By            Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio

Produced By               Chris Meledandri, Janet Healey, Audrey Geisel