|Note the "seams"|
The film, based on a manga by Yoshiie Goda, proceeds to explore the human condition through the eyes and mind of this innocent, a creature who one day has unexpectedly found herself “with a heart.” It is replete with absolutely wonderful touches and details. For example, when she first comes to life, we can see the “seams” along her neck, shoulder, arms and torso where her plastic parts are joined. Or when a child takes her hand and remarks that it’s cold.
|Nozomi pumps herself up.|
Perhaps the most touching revelation occurs when she falls off a ladder at work and receives a “cut” on one arm. Lying on the floor, she slowly begins to deflate. Her co-worker, surprisingly unperturbed, puts a piece of scotch tape over her tear and re-inflates her by blowing into her belly button valve. This form of “artificial respiration” fills her in a way that is amazingly sensual, fulfilling her in a way the male sex organ can never approach.
|Nozomi visits the place where she was created.|
Ms. BAE does a marvelous job here of imbuing Nozomi with life in such a way that we, the viewers, are fully aware of her evolution, her becoming more and more human. As a result, we are compelled to consider -- along with her -- what it means to be alive, to "have a heart," and to love and be love. Both funny and touching, humorous and poignant, Air Doll is a film that well deserves to be seen. ACF Rating; 3.5 out of 4 stars, very highly recommended.
Air Doll will be shown as part of the Globus Film Series Love Will Tear Us Apart, which starts tonight (Friday) at Japan Society. For information about the series, including film descriptions, showtimes, and online purchasing of tickets, click here.