by Chris MaGee
We like to keep an eye on the outer fringes of Japanese film and visual culture here at the J-Film Pow-Wow, and this past week we came across something that looks utterly fascinating. We know that there are more than a few Haruki Murakami fans out there, or at least we hope there are; and one of our favorite's by the award-winning author is his 1994 novel "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle". It's hard to explain exactly what this semi-surreal epic is all about. If you've read it you'll know what we mean. On one level it could be thought of as a psycho-sexual dream journey through post-War, post-Bubble, media-obsessed Japan. On another level it's just about an unemployed 30-something man looking for his lost cat. Anyway you interpret it "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" is an amazing read... but I doubt many people have interpreted Murakami's novel like Stephen Earnhart, former Director of Production at Miramax Films, has.
No, Earnhart hasn't made a film adaptation of "Wind-Up Bird"... Not exactly. Earnhart has assembled a team that includes writer Greg Pierce, puppeteer Tom Lee, musician Bora Yoon, and more to create a live, multi-media interpretation of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle". The end result will be premiering this month at the annual Edinburgh International Festival and then go on to tour throughout North America during the rest of 2011 and 2012. You can find out more about this production of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" at its official website here, but before you do check out clips from the film component of the production below. Some gorgeous imagery here... but be warned, it's not entirely safe for work.