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Norwegian Wood (2011) April 3, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Books, Film.
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2 comments

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It is, in many ways, the impossible adaptation. The popularity of his novels makes it surprising that there has been just one ‘Murakami’ film before. The fact that the plots often feature the oddly supernatural, or not very much actually happening, makes it less surprising. Yet, as Jun Ichikawa’s Tony Takitani showed, capturing the essence of what makes the novels means capturing the inner-monologue, the feeling that drives the story, is what’s most important.

A friend said to me once that Tony Takitani was the “most beautifully pointless film” she’d ever seen. Slow-moving, but gorgeously filmed, and full of emotion (at least that that readers of the original short story would have interpreted), its point was perhaps lost on those who fell asleep during the snail’s pace.

So what of Norwegian Wood, the most eagerly awaited of Murakami adaptations? It is, in many ways, as faithful an adaptation as we might get —  like Ichikawa, director Tran Anh Hung captures perfectly the incredible feel of a Murakami novel. The whole thing is like a crisp, gorgeous dream, every scene dripping with angst and emotion. That it’s as slow as Tony Takitani perhaps again shows its faithfulness to the source material.

(SPOILERS AHEAD and some of this might not make sense to those who haven’t read the novel) (more…)

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‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’ by Haruki Murakami October 28, 2008

Posted by ayasawada in Books.
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1 comment so far

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A relatively short Murakami novel at less than 200 pages, but I really feel brevity enhances a Murakami story. I’m a big fan of his short stories and having just previously finished his opus A Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I have to admit I was suffering a bit of reader’s fatigue.

So maybe it’s the brevity of the story, but South of Border shot right into my favourite Murakami stories, heck, maybe even one of my favourite books.

(Slight spoiler warning. Maybe don’t read if you really don’t want to know) (more…)