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Intertextuality, sex and the hollow life in Kore’eda Hirokazu’s Air Doll


Hartley, B, Intertextuality, sex and the hollow life in Kore'eda Hirokazu's Air Doll, Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 10, (1) pp. 39-50. ISSN 2045-5852 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1386/ajpc_00037_1


Directed by Kore’eda Hirokazu (b. 1962, winner 2018 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or), the 2009 film, (), tells of a sex doll who comes to life. Once she acquires ‘a heart that I was not supposed to have’, the work moves through rom-com to Romeo and Juliet-esque tragedy. Although rated relatively lowly on reception websites, is a complex reflection on the ‘hollow life’ created by hyper-capitalism and related issues including gender and class. The film is enhanced by Korean actor Bae Doona’s whimsical doll performance, while Mark Lee Ping-bing’s cinematic genius invokes the dreamy effect of . This article focuses on the film’s dense intertextual references which evoke both E. T. A. Hoffmann’s ‘Sandman’ and Freud’s ‘uncanny’ response. The doll’s CD rental store part-time job further permits Kore’eda to incorporate a tour de force series of other film references.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Air Doll, doll narratives, human relationships, intertextuality, Kore’eda Hirokazu, loneliness
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Literature in Japanese
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Asia's past
UTAS Author:Hartley, B (Dr Barbara Hartley)
ID Code:155379
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2023-02-17
Last Modified:2023-02-17

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