Release Date: Mar 8, 2011
Record label: Nonesuch
Genre(s): Experimental, Avant-Garde, Pop/Rock, Art Rock, Stage & Screen, Kraut Rock
Mercurial Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's second foray into film scoring (his haunting work on Paul Thomas Anderson's 2007 masterpiece There will Be Blood should have landed him an Oscar nomination) finds the budding composer in a much more plaintive state of mind. Based on the book by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood follows a love-lorn pair of college freshmen as they navigate the emotional wasteland of 1960’s Tokyo. Peppered by three tracks from Krautrock legends Can, Greenwood's score is largely string-based, with full orchestral arrangements that eventually give way to a simple string quartet.
With a legion of Murakami fans out there, and with Norwegian Wood almost certainly being the simplest of his books to adapt for the screen, it was always the most likely to be made into a film. So a couple of weeks ago, I went to see it at a screening. Having read the book, and being a fan of Asian cinema in general, the fact I wasn't blown away by it did take me by surprise.