All About Lily Chou-Chou

All About Lily Chou-Chou

5.0 1
Director: Shunji Iwai

Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Shugo Oshinari, Ayumi Ito

     
 

Wildly popular filmmaker Shunji Iwai breaks a three-year hiatus following his less than successful April Story with this elliptical drama about teenaged alienation, violence, and celebrity. The film centers on Yuichi Hasumi (Hayato Ichihara), an eighth grader who lives in a sleepy town in rural Japan with his mother, her boyfriend, and the boyfriend's son. AtSee more details below

Overview

Wildly popular filmmaker Shunji Iwai breaks a three-year hiatus following his less than successful April Story with this elliptical drama about teenaged alienation, violence, and celebrity. The film centers on Yuichi Hasumi (Hayato Ichihara), an eighth grader who lives in a sleepy town in rural Japan with his mother, her boyfriend, and the boyfriend's son. At school he is beaten up and harassed by his former friend Hoshino. In order to scrape up the cash to meet Hoshino's daily extortion demand, Yuichi resorts to petty theft and shoplifting. At home he finds sanctuary with his favorite singer Lily Chou-Chou, for whom he has devoted a website called "Liliphilia." One day, he encounters on the net a fellow Lily-phile who goes by the handle "blue cat." As Hoshino's power grows, he demands that Yuichi tail fellow classmate Shiori Tsuda (Yu Aoi), who he is pimping out to older men. Yuichi's suffocating situation at school leads him to consider suicide, something he confesses to "blue cat" -- his only confidant. Things come to a head tragically at a long awaited Lily Chou-Chou concert. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richie Unterberger
The adolescent coming-of-age film All About Lily Chou-Chou is audacious in its structure, but not wholly successful, even if it should get kudos for looking at universal youthful experiences with unsentimental honesty that's uncommon in the cinema. While the frequent takeovers of the movie screen by computer screens (of online chat among some of the characters) is bold and marks this as a work determined to use the vernacular of its era, it's also aggravatingly distracting. And make no mistake, it's not something that's just an occasional irritant -- it's in your face, inserted right into the heart of the action. More of a problem to the general audience, perhaps, is that the action isn't all that easy to follow and the characters not so easy to keep straight -- something that can't, for non-Japanese viewers, be put wholly down to the linguistic and cultural differences inherent to watching a Japanese movie. Weeding through the tangle, there are some effectively harsh mini-vignettes reflecting painful early teenage traumas that almost anyone throughout the globe can relate to: the bullying into virtually criminal behavior through peer pressure, the retreat into worship of musical idols as escape from mundane and sometimes unpleasant realities, the inability to wholly fit in at school or at home, and the cruel ways that kids can treat each other. If some of the scenarios are more extreme than many people grew up with -- such as the girl coerced into humiliating prostitution by fellow teenagers -- the tone of the anguish will ring true with everyone's adolescent trials. The detached, jumbled way in which it's presented, however, might dilute its impact more than the filmmaker intended.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/2005
UPC:
0037429204122
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
NR
Source:
Homevision
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:26:00

Special Features

Digital transfer enhanced for 16:9 televisions; Making-of documentary; Director biography and filmography; Music video: Wings That Can't Fly; Theatrical trailers; Essay by director Shunji Iwai

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Genesis [4:52]
2. Kids These Days [8:53]
3. Arabesque [5:51]
4. Stealing Is Stealing [5:25]
5. Yes, Sir [5:37]
6. The Beginning [5:47]
7. Hoshino's House [4:55]
8. Competition [7:29]
9. Hold-up [3:42]
10. Okinawa [7:32]
11. 7 Lives [9:26]
12. Regime Change [6:31]
13. Age of Gray [8:33]
14. Music Class [5:58]
15. New Arrangement [6:43]
16. Kunto's Price [5:08]
17. Emotion [6:32]
18. Breathe [3:32]
19. Flying [7:44]
20. Blue Cat [7:43]
21. Lost Soul [7:05]
22. Soiled Ether [2:29]
23. Guidance [4:20]
24. End Credits [4:04]
1. Welcome to the Ether [2:06]
2. Lilyholic BBS [6:13]
3. Script Bowl [6:07]
4. Piano Practice [3:02]
5. A Turning Point [6:12]
6. Directing Method [10:23]
7. Extras [5:58]
8. The Chorus [4:21]
9. Pupae [5:30]
10. Age 14 [5:12]

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