Jun Ichikawa's Haruki Murakami adap is exquisite, but elusive. A small, perfectly formed tale of loneliness and addiction, it succeeds in matching the way the action in Murakami's prose takes place between the lines. The film's essentially a two-hander, with the leads doubling up in four roles. Issei Ogata plays a widower and his lonely son. The former, a trombonist, obsesses over music, while the latter falls for Miyazawa Rie, who turns out to be alarmingly fixated on clothes...
That wispy plot, though, plays second fiddle to mood and meaning. Through slow camera pans, voiceover and Ryuichi Sakamoto's delicate score, Ichikawa weaves a tone poem about distance, kept one remove from reality but so well-modulated it holds you like a trance. It's a slip of a film, perhaps, but the theme of haunting, isolating obsession is suitably ghostly and haunting in itself.