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Tran Anh Hung's "Norwegian Wood"

  • MUBI
"With his intuitive penchant for lingering, privileged sensations, Tran Anh Hung would seem to be an inspired choice to film Haruki Murakami's languid-erotic 1987 bestseller Norwegian Wood, where the eponymous Beatles anthem can have the effect of Proust's madeleine," writes Fernando F Croce in Slant. "When it does come, sung softly in English in a cottage in the pastoral outskirts of Tokyo, the tune quickly brings tears to the eyes of Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi), whose private anguish is momentarily alleviated and then unsettled by the pop song's wistful evocation of ephemeral affairs: 'And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown…' With its gentle camera movements and wizardly cinematographer Mark Lee Ping Bin's amber light, the moment glows and shivers. It also illustrates, unfortunately, how Tran's adaptation works most effectively in such impressionistic glances and instants than as an emotional whole, where the swoony aesthetic comes to
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Tran Ahn Hung's Aborted 'Night Dogs' With Adrien Brody Would've Had Jimi Hendrix Score; Director Plotting French Novel Adaptation Next

While he's no Terrence Malick, Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung isn't exactly rushing movies out. Since his critically acclaimed debut "The Scent Of Green Papaya" in 1993, only five films have arrived from the helmer, one of which, neo-noir "I Come With The Rain" starring Josh Hartnett, has never really seen the light of day. During that time in the limelight, though, Tran had one particular project fall apart at the seams: his adaptation of Kent Anderson's post-war drama "Night Dogs," which he recently discussed with Twitch. "It was a great book called 'Night Dogs' by Ken Anderson, about a Vietnam vet, set in 1975, Portland, Oregon. After I read the book, one of those eureka moments happened. I got up one morning and my head was filled with Jimi Hendrix songs. (Claps his hands) Bang! I really wanted to use about 11 Jimi Hendrix songs for that adaptation. It would've been great.
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