Friday, September 4, 2009

The first peek at Rinko Kikuchi and Ken'ichi Matsuyama in "Norwegian Wood"

by Chris MaGee

Just over a year ago the internet was buzzing about the news that French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung would be adapting Haruki Murakami's 1987 novel "Norwegian Wood" into a feature film (read our full coverage here. While Murakami's dense, often surreal work seemed tailor-made for the big screen no one, save maybe Jun Ichikawa and his film "Tony Takitani", had ever lived up to the author's singular vision, so the fact that the man who brought us such transcendently beautiful films as "The Scent of Green Papaya" and "Cyclo" was going to to be tackling a Murakami novel got a lot of people excited. So did the news that two of Japan's biggest young actors would be starring in the film, namely Ken'ichi Matsuyama and Rinko Kikuchi. Sadly once the initial fervor wore off the "Norwegian Wood" buzz died down to nothing; but during a wander through YouTube recently I came across this item broadcast on Japanese television on June 17th: an interview with Tran Anh Hung discussing the film which includes behind the scenes footage of Matsuyama as the novel protagonist Toru Watanabe and Kikuchi as one of his love interests Naoko. Be patient though. You have to get past the 2-minute 30-second mark before you get to the behind the scenes shots.

"Norwegian Wood" is set for a 2010 release.

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