The stories of Haruki Murakami, beguiling existential meditations flecked with surrealism, seem suited to the stylized language of animation. Yet, to our knowledge, none of the Japanese author’s works have been adapted in the medium — until now.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is a retelling of several of Murakami’s short stories (many of which are published in the book of the same name). The production has little to do with Japan: written and directed by Pierre Földes, the feature is being produced in France, by Cinéma Defacto and Miyu Productions. Watch the trailer, which Cartoon Brew is exclusively launching, and read the synopsis below:
A lost cat, a voluble giant toad and a tsunami help an unambitious salesman, his frustrated wife and a schizophrenic accountant save Tokyo from an earthquake and find meaning in their lives.
Catapulted into the limelight by his 1987 novel Norwegian Wood, Murakami has since sold millions of books in translation. Several have inspired live-action adaptations, most recently the acclaimed Korean feature Burning (which is based on Murakami’s short story “Barn Burning”). The author is often mooted as a possible Nobel laureate. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, a collection of 24 short stories written between 1980 and 2005, was published in English in 2006.