“I will not let the non-knitters of the world decide how normal I am.”–Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, “At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much”
DIRECTED BY: Mai Tominaga
FEATURING: Kyôko Kishida, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Ayu Kitaura
PLOT: A pair of packrat sisters have their perfectly dis-ordered world turned upside-down by the arrival of a mysterious girl. Dubbed “Knit-Again” by the sisters, she is caught in an obsessive cycle of wrecking their home, knitting a large collection of red yarn into a massive shroud, and unraveling her creation and beginning anew. Their attempts to rid themselves of Knit-Again lead the sisters to reconsider an event from their shared past.
- Wool 100% is director Tominaga’s first feature. Her previous works were animated short films.
- Kyôko Kishida is probably best known for portraying the title role in Woman in the Dunes. This was her final film; she died the same year as the film’s release in Japan.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: Waves of knitted red yarn, filling the screen and undulating like blood, as two young women try to knit a romance (and a baby) into being.
THREE WEIRD THINGS: “I have to knit again!”; living scrapbook; rooftop dollhouse fire
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Wool 100% is the purest kind of fairy tale: unsettling and unforgettable images of characters caught in fantastically unusual circumstances. You might knock it for ultimately following a retroactively logical progression, but the journey there is perplexing, and the final explanation is just as surprising as the quixotic tale that precedes it.
Original Japanese trailer for Wool 100%
COMMENTS: I’ve called Wool 100% a fairy tale, and I stand by that. Continue reading 289. WOOL 100% (2006)