Japanese author Haruki Murakami may be one of the most revered authors alive, but his work is seldom adapted for the screen, perhaps because the internalised nature of his narratives doesn’t leap out as being easily translated to film. Until now, only Norwegian Wood (2010), an atypical Murakami novel, has seen wide exposure. The only other works to be adapted are his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, and the short story ‘Tony Takitani’. Both were local productions that didn’t travel much outside Japan.
Finally, the essence of Murakami has come to life on the big screen with Burning, an adaptation of the short story ‘Barn Burning’. It captures the distinctive spirit of his best work, and features many of his recurring themes: a reclusive central character; a chance encounter; unrequited love; possibly even an imaginary cat.