With Tran Anh Hung's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's "Norwegian Wood" debuting at the Venice Film Festival and a global release on the horizon, popular Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami might just find his catalogue the target of further adaptations in the filmmaking community future. Other than a few notable attempts by Kazuki Ōmori in 1981, Jun Ichikawa in 2005 and Robert Logevall in 2007, Murakami's enigmatic and beguiling work has -- for the most part -- evaded the Hollywood treatment. Though there is one upcoming project that has flown under the radar: an adaptation of his 1985 quirky short story "The Second Bakery Attack" by Mexican writer-director Carlos Cuarón, brother of course to "Children Of Men" and "Y Tu Mamá También" helmer Alfonso.
Cuarón, who co-wrote the latter Silver Lion-winning road trip film and made his directorial debut last year with "Rudo Y Cursi" starring reunited BFF's Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, teamed on this occasion with producer Lucas Akoskin ("Desaparecido") for the adaptation of Murakami's darkly comedic story, described as "a modernist painting, melted and poured onto book pages."
The short follows the story of a newlywed couple's post-marriage blues and stars the promising duo of Kirsten Dunst -- herself unfamiliar with Murakami's work after starring in a fetishized McG-helmed music video adaptation of "Akihabara Majokko Princess" to the tune of The Vapors' "Turning Japanese" -- and rising star Brian Geraghty, who deserved much more attention than he got for his breakout role in Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker." Geraghty also recently featured in Dunst's Mike Eizenger-scored short, "Bastard," which stars Juno Temple and closed the Cannes' Critics Week earlier this year.
"It's short, but there's meticulous attention to detail just like a Murakami story!" explained the director, who moved the setting from Japan to a small Texan town near the Mexican border. "To me, Murakami's works are universal, and at the same time very Japanese. This is what makes the project so intriguing for me -- I did set the story in the United States but the tone of the conversations, the situation … somehow it's very Tokyo."
"I think overall, that Murakami's works are challenging to adapt, but they're not in the realm of the impossible," Cuarón added of the Japanese novelist. "What's wonderful is that his world is always open to personal interpretation, and I think that's because he's very familiar with American literature."
A collaboration between surDream Productions, Bonita Films and Gigantic Pictures, 'Bakery Attack' evidently premiered during a run at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography but has also played at multiple film festivals including the Short Shorts Film Festival, where the film received the following logline:
Nat and Dan are recently married, but they just had their first fight. An overwhelming hunger keeps them both awake one night. What can they do to quell their hunger and save their marriage?
With Cuarón behind the camera and Dunst and Geraghty starring, it really is a shame that the film is only a short with a running time of 10 minutes. Here's hoping it hits online sometime soon. [CNNGO/Tumblr/Independent]
Update: Reader found a clip, thanks for the head's up.