Thursday, October 08, 2009

CIFF 09: Air Doll

With the festival commencing this evening, I am already taking a long lead on one title that won't start showing until the second week, but whose renowned director might well prompt a run on tickets among the kinds of patrons who flock to the CIFF every year. My second review for the fortnight is thus of Hirokazu Kore-eda's Air Doll, which sadly makes a stronger bid than I had hoped for the alternate title Air Head. Shot by In the Mood for Love and Millennium Mambo cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bin, the film lacks the aesthetic heft or disciplined shape of the former and surpasses even the latter for vacuous cosmetics and patience-trying protraction. If that strikes you as an unfair thumbnail of Millennium Mambo—and Hou is definitely a filmmaker that Air Doll appears to have on its mind, such as it is—then this might be a title for you, but as my review testifies, I was quickly put off.

Air Doll plays on Saturday 10/17, Sunday 10/18, and Monday 10/19.

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Blogger tim r said...

Great review. I entirely agree on the overlength problem in Nobody Knows, and I'm very excited to spot in the sidebar that you liked Eureka so much -- that's one 217-minute endurance test that I feel really justifies its duration.

Going to my first LFF press screenings today and you've got me psyched to try and chime in with full reviews, even while I'm missing you!

1:45 AM, October 08, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

Thanks, Tim - I think it's an even better review now that I've fixed the series of typos, don't you?

However you deliver it, I'll be so excited to hear your news from the London festival.

10:39 AM, October 08, 2009  
Blogger Guy Lodge said...

Tim already told me this afternoon that this review was something to look forward to -- but still, what a treat to have you on such intimidatingly good form. (Moreover, the review confirms most of the suspicions I've been harbouring about the film.)

Tim, it was such a pleasure to finally meet you properly today. Our conversation about money obviously had some karmic effect: as soon as I got home, with the kind of uncanny timing that keeps me God-fearing, I was greeted with a surprise late payment for a long-forgotten job. Enough to keep fed through October so I can attend the LFF in all its glory. See you soon!

12:47 PM, October 08, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is easily Kore-eda's worst, but it is a very rare misstep, so I encourage you to seek out more of his work. Still Walking and Maborosi are both masterpieces - indeed, the latter is my all-time #2, an absolutely perfect merger of content and form and an emotional suckerpunch.

8:28 PM, January 09, 2011  

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