The adaptation of any novel to film will always be fraught with the perils of weighty expectation. Haruki Murakami ‘s 1987 novel Norwegian Wood is no exception. Translated to English 13 years after its Japanese publication, it has reaped perhaps more feverish expectation in the lead to its recent cinematic release than many of its literary contemporaries of the last ten years. By this I discount the cash-cow behemoths of Harry Potter and Twilight; which to me are a new breed of genre unto themselves:  the teen-aimed novel series adapted to ‘dolla sign’ franchise variety . That’s not to slander this type of movie as void of merit ;  production accolades are unavoidable, they have their target audience and generally the hopes and  expectations of that audience are met,  but there’s a big difference between this kind of project and the cinema-as-art adaptations of say, in recent years, Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man. Read the rest of this entry »

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