Haruki Murakami and his surreal and dreamlike universe were adapted for cinema this year by Pierre Földes.
A movie by Pierre Földes
A lost cat, a giant talkative frog and a tsunami help an unambitious salesperson, his frustrated wife and a schizophrenic accountant save Tokyo from an earthquake, and restore meaning to their lives.
“What is visible to everyone is perhaps not the most important”, we hear at one point in the film “Blind willows, sleeping woman”. Which would amount to talking about “things hidden behind things” to allude to a famous replica signed Jacques Prévert. If we refer moreover to the famous poet and dialogue writer, we can also list in Pierre Földes‘ first animated feature film a whole whimsical and unexpected inventory: a very large frog (Frog!), a lost cat that has the name of its owner’s brother-in-law (Watanabé), a mysterious box to carry, a giant earthworm named Worm of course, and willows with evil pollen.
A surreal and dreamlike universe
It is the universe of Haruki Murakami, this strange and supernatural tone, which contaminates the feature film and gives it its identity. The filmmaker chooses six short stories from three different collections by the Japanese writer. The work of adaptation is admirable, as long as it does not of course illustrate the short stories academically one after the other, but prunes the stories, reduces the number of characters and entangles the destinies of its heroes reduced to four main and invents a story where everyone is a bit like the mirror of the other.
At the heart of the film is the existential questioning, the most intimate awareness, the one that makes you change your path in life. Although full of dialogue, Blind Willows, Sleeping Woman is an introspective film, filled with reflections, silences and inner voices. It is also a film made up of multiple digressions, always translated into images, whether in flashback mode or reverie and nightmare, nourishing the tenacious impression of disturbing strangeness.