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If you’re a bookworm or a literature geek (which we’re sure you are – otherwise, you would not read this), you’ve probably picked up (or hoarded) Haruki Murakami’s books. His unusual writing style, captivating stories with themes of alienation and sense of loss, surreal creatures or settings, the reference to music pieces, as well as vague endings leave us wanting more. Many directors have also turned to Murakami’s work for film-making material.

Now, you have the chance to see the film adaptations of the author’s works at the “Watch Murakami” section of the first-ever “Haruki Murakami Festival” in Manila.

The University of the Philippines Film Institute will be screening two award-winning films based on Murakami-written stories: “Norwegian Wood” (2010), directed by Tran Anh Hung, and “Tony Takita” (2005), directed by Jun Ichikawa.

Set in 1960s Japan of political unrest, the Norwegian Wood is about a young man who is not only torn between his love for two women but also between his past and his future. Tony Takita, meanwhile, is about a reclusive illustrator who falls in love with a shop-a-holic, young woman.

The film showing will take place on March 15 and March 16, respectively, at 7 p.m. inside the Cine Adarna Theater at UP Diliman. Admission is totally free (yes, you read that right). It will be on a “first-come, first-served basis,” though, so be at the venue as early as possible with every fellow “Murakamist” you know.

The official event page for Watch Murakami also claims the 69-year-old’s appearance is not expected at the screening, but we’re low-key hoping with our fingers crossed (just like everyone else) that he’ll appear out of nowhere.

For more details and updates, visit The Japan Foundation, Manila and UPFI Film Center – Cine Adarna on social media.

Photo from The Japan Foundation, Manila

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