Fashion on Film: Takeshi Kitano’s Dolls
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April 30th, 2014 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDTCost: Free
2002, 115 min.
Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Starring Miho Kanno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tatsuya Mihashi, Chieko Matsubara, Kyoko Fukuda, Tsutomu Takeshige
Three storylines cross in Dolls: tragic lovers wander through Tokyo bound at the waist by a red cord, a disfigured pop idol isolates herself from society and her devoted fans, and an elderly yakuza returns to the spot where he last saw his old girlfriend. As the “bound beggars” drift along, their costumes change to suit the seasons.
The appearance and tone of the film owes much to the involvement of costume designer Yohji Yamamoto. Although Yamamoto worked on a previous Kitano film, Brother, designing elegant black suits worn by the yakuza characters, Dolls offered the opportunity for greater flights of fancy. The brilliantly hued, avant-garde costumes Yamamoto conceived for the “bound beggars” were opposite to Takeshi’s expectations, so Kitano adapted his original vision to fit the costume design, acknowledging, “We were faced with a reversal of the normal process. Normally, costumes are made in such ways that they match the film. At certain points, we had to make adjustments to locations and continuity to match the costumes.”
A contemporary fairytale interspersed with snippets of Bunraku, Dolls is “as passionate, refined, and insistently sad as Bunraku puppetry itself.” (Ty Burr, Boston Globe)
preceded by a brief introduction of Dolls and the work of Yohji Yamamoto by Program Officer Kate Scullin
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