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All About Lily Chou-Chou [DVD] [2002]


Price: £18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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All About Lily Chou-Chou [DVD] [2002] + Shunji Iwai's Love Letter (1995)
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Product details

  • Actors: Hayato Ichihara, Shûgo Oshinari, Ayumi Itô, Takao Ohsawa, Miwako Ichikawa
  • Directors: Shunji Iwai
  • Writers: Shunji Iwai
  • Producers: Koko Maeda, Naoki Hashimoto
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum
  • DVD Release Date: 28 July 2003
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008YNI3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,612 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Told through the eyes of Yuichi, the story explores teenage alienation. Yuichi is being bullied at school, his mother is ignoring him and he has resorted to stealing in order to pay off his bully. To escape his life he sets up a web-site devoted to the singer Lily Chou-Chou. But things come to a head when his bully demands he follow a fellow student and Yuichi considers suicide.

From the Back Cover

The acclaimed director of Love Letter and April Story, Shunji Iwai’s All About Lily Chou Chou is told through the eyes of Yuichi, a teenage boy in love with pop music and pop stars. Particularly beholden to Yuichi is the ethereal star Lily Chou Chou, the subject of her own website where a loyal coterie of ‘Lilyphiles’ trade gossip, information, and speculation. Yuichi takes increasing solace in her fictional world, gradually using it as a weapon with which to fight his crippling shyness and the harsh realities of the outside world. Conceived after Iwai attended a Hong Kong concert by Canto-pop diva Faye Wong (the star of Chungking Express), All About Lily Chou Chou began life first as a novel (as yet unfinished) before transforming into an interactive text maintained by Iwai on the lily-holic.com website. The interactive development of the project was crucial, enhancing the parallel narratives that are made horribly clear by the film’s gripping conclusion. Incorporating a hyperreal display of high-definition video and an extraordinary, at times rapturous use of music, All About Lily Chou Chou offers wonderfully executed sensory pleasure in abundance, more than this however it intelligently addresses prescient themes of violence, bullying and alienated adolescence. A genuine cinematic achievement and undoubtedly Iwai’s finest work.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. E. G. Spaul on 14 July 2009
Format: DVD
I had heard so much about this film and didn't really know what to expect. 'Inspired by a Faye Wong concert', 'Gorgeous', 'hyperreal', 'lovely'?
The blurb on the back of the DVD case alongside the snapshots from the film paint a mesmerising, enigmatic first impression of the film.
Once you begin watching the film, the music instantly feels like something out of this world. Using a lot of Debussy and songs from Japanese artists who supposedly are Lily Chou Chou, I think it might be by someone called Salyu in reality, the music ascends the images on screen (however simple) to an ethereal level. The songs may not even be that likeable outside of the film, I tried listening to it earlier and it wasn't the same experience. But the film demonstrates a union of music and imagery that feels chilling and hynoptic, also in a different sense to what you would experience in Western films with good soundtracks such as an indie-type film or a Tarantino film for example.
The marriage of the aesthetic and the aural is a perfect model for contemporary cinema, and I say this meaning it really is unique and something which would have influence on a new generation of filmmakers.
All about Lily Chou Chou cannot be defined!
I could list all the issues it homes in on, but the film is just made for you to decide yourself. In typical terms, it is challenging and engaging.
I mean, fair enough you can decipher a plot, but the protagonist is so distanced from the audience, from the truth of the realities inside the film world and obsessed with the 'ether' which is far removed from the brutal, tragic and unjust incidents which he is involved in. You'll see what I mean by the 'ether'(Not really a reference to recreational drugs!).

If you are considering whether to buy it or not, please do not hesitate. I mean, if I have mislead you, then sure you can sell it on. No regets!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "samueljps" on 11 Jan. 2005
Format: DVD
First of all, the comments on the DVD box are extremely misleading. The critical compliments they have gathered suggest that this film is a beautifully shot ethereal tribute to a myserious pop star called Lily Chou Chou which deals a little with the subject of bullying. This is not entirely true. It is pretty beautifully shot and the word 'ether' reoccurs several times and, sure, a pop star called Lily Chou Chou does feature. But this film does more than briefly deal with the subject of bullying. This film is about bullying. And not just any sort of bullying. We're talking about young teenage boys pimping for their female class mates; boys and girls inflicting serious physical and psycological damage on one another - out and out cruelty. This film does not present a very happy picture of teenage life. Don't buy or rent it if you're looking for something to exactly lift your spirits.
However, this isn't to say it isn't worth watching. It may simply give you les pleasure than you expected, asking a little more of your brain than films often do. It's a little overlong (two and quarter hours, but it sometimes feels like five)but, goodness, it certainly is an experience. Less of a tribute to teenage obsessions with pop music than a study of teenage life in which pop obsessions play no more of a part than to soundtrack the continuing misery. Still, I'd give it a go if I were you
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By a reader on 20 Dec. 2003
Format: DVD
This is the one film that has touched me in a way no other film has before. Partly the visuals, party the haunting music, but mostly the depiction of loneliness and existential confusion which goes beyond what it feels to be a teenager and penetrates what it can feel like to simply be alive sometimes. Please watch this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Lewis on 18 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
The two stars refers only to the transfer which has been set-up for a 4:3 TV and can't be watched in full 1.78:1 on a widescreen TV. Why? Because in their infinite wisdom, Optimum transferred Lily Chou-Chou in 4:3 letterbox format and then hard-burned subtitles with the second line falling below the film. Oh, and the transfer is also interlaced - far from ideal for progressive displays. So when you view Lily on your widescreen plasma or LCD you'll have to accept a tiny picture in the middle of the screen to be able to see the second line of the subtitles.

If the R1 DVD is as specified on Amazon (16;9 anamorphic) and if the subtitles are soft, go for that version rather than this one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "weskers-puppet" on 16 Dec. 2003
Format: DVD
Shunji Iwai's visually sumptuous and achingly beautiful cinematic style is employed to stunning effect, in what can perhaps be described as the definitive 'coming-of-age' drama to appear in Japan. The genuinly moving story is played out to a backdrop of vibrant colour depicting both the dark and light of rural Japanese culture. The use of Debussy's romantic piano pieces to highlight the shockingly brutal reality of the film is quite masterful, as is the skillful touch of blending this with the etheral tones of the fictional Diva Lily Chou-Chou. The film handles strong issues seen through the eyes of Yuichi, the introvert central character, with flair and compassion, allowing both the actions and consequences to be seen in full. As a piece of cinema it is mezmerizing, yet as a social comment it is inspired. All About Lily Chou-Chou is truly a masterpiece of modern film making, it's hauntingly powerful images long remaining in memory, a testament to the films brilliance.
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