Isn’t It Good?

Are we the very last people in the world to hear about this? Apparently, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, despite years of being reluctant to see his novels turned into films—the full story is recounted in the fascinating book Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin, one of Murakami’s English translators—is allowing a movie to be made of his most famous work, Norwegian Wood. In fact, it’s been in production since 2008, and stars Rinko Kikuchi, who you may remember for her Oscar-nominated and mostly-nude performance in Babel. How did we miss this? Possibly we were buried under a pile of books—many by Murakami, no doubt—at the time.

Anyway, the film is in the news again for two reasons: 1) it was recently announced that Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is composing the film’s score, as he did for 2007’s There Will Be Blood (itself based on Upton Sinclair‘s novel Oil!), and 2) it’s scheduled for release this year. As is often the case when a beloved book is being adapted into a film, we’re not really sure whether to be excited or apprehensive, but we’re definitely intrigued. Norwegian Wood‘s story of lost love is a simple one, so the real challenge will be to see whether director Tran Anh Hung will be able to capture Murakami’s understated, infinitely evocative style. After all, this is an author who, as Anna in Brentwood puts it, “writes about doing laundry in a way that makes me want to do laundry.”

Speaking of Anna in Brentwood…she’s up next in our series of National Poetry Month videos, reciting Philip Larkin‘s “This Be the Verse”:

Check out the full National Poetry Month archive here!


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