Tran Anh Hung’s NORWEGIAN WOOD: A Moving Story in Tokyo

By David Yu

AsianInNY was invited to a screening of NORWEGIAN WOOD, the new film by Tran Anh Hung (Academy Award nominee for SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA and Golden Lion winner for CYCLO), based on the internationally acclaimed and bestselling novel by Haruki Murakami. NORWEGIAN WOOD is scheduled to open in New York on Friday, January 6 followed by a national roll out.  This film first debuted in the 67th Venice International Film Festival where it competed for the Golden Lion.

A nostalgic story of loss and sexuality set in Tokyo in the late 1960s against a time of global instability, Norwegian Wood written by Haruki Murakami was published in 1987, and widely well-received by the Japanese public as well as the international audiences.

Haruki Murakami’s bestselling novel is finally brought to the screen directed by Tran Anh Hung(Academy Award nominee for Scent of Green Papaya and Golden Lion winner for Cyclo) and features Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama (Death Note) and Oscar Nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) alongside with rising actress Kiko Mizuhara.

In summary, Murakami’s Norwegian Wood revolves around the protagonist Toru Watanabe’s personal life. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman. But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend, Kizuki. Similarly, Naoko who used to be Kizuki’s girlfriend is also grappling with the loss in her own way. Meanwhile, Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere, until he met Midori who is everything that Noako is not marches into his life and Watanabe faces a dilemma of choosing between past and future.

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