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Independent Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has concluded filming on his latest project, a live-action adaptation of Yoshiie Gōda's Blow-up Doll (Kūki Ningyō) manga. Kore-eda won the best director's award at the 1995 Venice Film Festival for Maborosi (Maboroshi no Hikari) and has been nominated for awards at the Cannes Film Festival for Nobody Knows and Distance. The Kūki Ningyō film, which stars Arata Furuta (20th Century Boys, Ping Pong) and Korean actress Bae Doo-Na (The Host, Linda Linda Linda), tells the story of an inflatable sex doll's relationship with its owner, a video shop clerk. The film is currently scheduled to open in Japanese theaters in the fall.
The original Kūki Ningyō manga was published in 2000, and the director has said that he has been interested in making a film based on it since then. In 2007, another of Gōda's manga, Happily Ever After, also served as the source material for a live-action film. Yukihiko Tsutsumi directed that movie, and it played at several film festivals around the United States last year. It is due out on DVD from Viz Media on February 24.
Image © 2009 Kūki Ningyō Production Committee
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