Through failure, doubt and persistence, a young piano tuner forges his own path in a lush, mellifluous tale about growth and self-discovery.
Winner of the National Booksellers Award in 2016,“The Forest of Wool and Steel” is a novel that captured the hearts of Japanese readers, selling half a million copies on its way to masterpiece status. And now, efforts are underway to turn it into a high-quality, live action feature film capable of earning film awards on its own merits, thanks to an all-star cast and crew and a breathtakingly beautiful score.
While staying true to the world view that made the original work so popular, the movie seeks to tell an honest coming-of-age story in lush, mellifluous texture, centering on a young man, Naoki Tomura, who aspires to become a piano tuner, and is guided by various mentors and the travails of two piano-playing sisters. His path, however, is littered with obstacles of various kinds, causing him to lose his way, struggle with himself and soldier on in fits and starts.
In order to sufficiently depict both the inner journey of the protagonist and ineffable beauty of music, the production felt it necessary to assemble artists known for their emotional expression and aesthetic vision. The film is directed by Kojiro Hashimoto, who scored a massive hit with his emotionally-rich profile of high school teens in “Orange” (’15), while Arisa Kaneko, who penned the hit television novella “It's not that I can't marry. I don't marry.” (’16) has been tapped to write the screenplay. This creative pairing is capable of sculpting a heartwarming drama that should satisfy lovers of the book and appeal to people of all ages.
Audiences enter into a world with which they are largely unfamiliar; that of the professional piano tuner, a craft that deals specifically in subtle distinctions of tonal quality, resonance and timbre. The film’s music plays a central role as theme and central character, thereby requiring the collaboration of the most skilled pianists and musical practitioners in the industry.
Tomura encounters Itadori, a piano tuner and is astounded by the “smell of the forest” that his piano sound evokes. Determined to become a tuner himself, Tomura graduates from a piano tuner vocational school and gains employment at the music store where Itadori works. Tomura meets two very talented piano-playing sisters, Kazune and Yuni. Tomura finds himself more instinctively drawn to Kazune’s music. Eventually, Tomura develops the skills to make the tuning rounds solo, including for the two sisters. One day, suddenly Yuni is unable to play the piano. Tomura begins to torture himself as a failure of a piano tuner, believing that he has subconsciously tuned the piano more to Kazune’s liking…
- Kojiro Hashimoto
- Arisa Kaneko
- Kento Yamazaki
- Release Date in Japan