It's All About Lily Chou-Chou this July

Optimum Releasing have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Shunji Iwai's All About Lily Chou-Chou for 28th July 2003 with a retail price of £19.99. The film will be presented in Non-Anamorphic Widescreen (4:3 Letterbox) with permanent (burned in) English subtitles while the original Japanese language track will be in Stereo, with the only extra feature being a Trailer reel. Here is a look at the artwork for this release and the (slightly too detailed, so beware of spoilers) synopsis from the press release...

A powerful coming-of-age film, ambitious and disturbing. All About Lily Chou- Chou tells the haunting story of an alienated youth culture where violence is endemic. Directed by Shunji Iwai, All About Lily Chou-Chou won the Special Jury Award at this year’s Shanghai Film Festival.

The film unfolds in extended flashback. Teenager Yuichi Hasumi (Hayato Ichihara) lives with this family in rural Japan and is bullied at school. As a result Yuichi retreats into his obsession with Bjork-like music star Lily Chou-Chou, managing a website called ‘Liliphilia’. In his online identity he meets another ardent Lily admirer, Blue Cat, and they become online close friends. The story travels back to the previous year. An altogether better adjusted Yuichi has not yet discovered Lily and has just entered high school. Here he meets the studious Hoshino (Shugo Oshinari) and they become friends. On a trip together to Okinawa for their summer vacation, their holiday turns ominous when Hoshino nearly drowns. This and other events seem to foretell dark changes ahead.

Back at school Hoshino undergoes a radical transformation, he draws a gang around himself, from which Yuichi is excluded and eventually becomes a target. With Hoshino now demanding money out of him, Yuichi turns to petty crime to finance his protection.
He becomes more complicit with Hoshino’s plans when he is forced to follow Shiori Tsuda (Yu Aoi),a pretty young schoolgirl pushed into prostitution by Hoshino. At the same time Yuichi becomes enamoured by one of his classmates, but finds it difficult to express his feelings for her. Through all of this he is getting closer to his online confidante, Blue Cat. They finally meet face to face at a Lily Chou-Chou concert, bringing the previous year’s events to a startling climax.

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