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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Imagine...A Wild Sheep Chase


This BBC program was curious. After the overwhelming success of Norwegian Wood, author Haruki Murakami resisted fame, he refused to do TV/radio interviews. His feeling being that what was inside him was part of him, was what he wrote about, the whole being an asset to him, and that to expose that somehow reduced the asset. The program does have an interview with Murakami, but not on screen - instead they show the words he said, and have another Japanese man read them instead. So we get an idea, to a degree, of Murakami's input, but in such a way that feels a little dislocated.

The program explores Murakami's life. It goes back to his high school, to other places he studied, libraries and college. It follows through the scenes of some of his books, producer/imagineer Yentob following a "talking" cat, travelling to Hokkaido in search of sheep, and the like. There are various conversations with Murakami fans, and more significantly conversations with Jay Rubin and Alfred Birnbaum two of the translators of Murakami's work. There are various extracts read, Japanese actors to a degree playing the scenes out. Which feels a little odd, the pacing and delivery of the readings just feels wrong to me. Though some of the scenes are nicely done, in my opinion at least, the previously mentioned talking cat, and the reveal of *her* ears.

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