Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rights Reel: Murakami on Film

I was surprised to learn that there is a 2008 movie version of the Haruki Murakami short story "All God's Children Can Dance" from the collection After the Quake, our discussion selection for this month. The climactic scene at the baseball park can be seen above and although it is not clear from that excerpt, the director, Robert Logevall, transferred the story to Koreatown in Los Angeles (You can definitely see some familiar terrain in the trailer). The film does not appear to have gotten any US distribution, nor even a straight-to-DVD release, so chances of seeing it are slim.

On the other hand, the film version of Murakami's Norwegian Wood (Tagline: A story of love and heartbreak in a time of global instability) will be released early in January. So if After the Quake was tempting enough for you to consider trying another book by the author, maybe that's the one you should pick up. The film is directed by Tran Anh Hung, who also did the wonderful The Scent of Green Papaya and Cyclo, so it will definitely be on my list. (And come to think of it, those two movies would be great to revisit before next month's discussion of Eaves of Heaven.) More on the film Norwegian Wood here.

And on the subject of more Murakami, you might want to check out the Slate article Which Books Should I Read First? which indeed recommends Norwegian Wood and if you have more questions about how to go about it you can consult the companion Slate article Is the Japanese novelist a great writer? or The Daily Beast How to Read Haruki Murakami. The gist is something like, "Don't sweat the details, just enjoy the ride!"  See other Murakami posts here.

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