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2006.02.28

『急行「北極号」』と『ポーラー・エクスプレス』

村上春樹が翻訳した絵本に、クリス・ヴァン・オールズバーグが絵も文も書いた『急行「北極号」』河出書房新社 というのがある。

クリスマスイブの夜、眠りについた少年のもとに、突然汽車が現れる。汽車の名は、急行「北極号」。行き先は、北極。クリスマスが近づいた頃に、親戚の子どもと一緒に読むとのにちょうど良さそうな、ちょっとしみじみするストーリーだ。

絵はどれもグレーを基調とした淡い色調で、冬の季節感が漂ってくるような印象だ。

初版は87年で、オカダが持っているのは2001年の第17刷版だから、根強い人気があるのだろう。『ポテト・スープが大好きな猫』にあったような、春樹さんの「あとがき」等が一切ないのが少し残念だけど。春樹さんが訳したオールズバーグの絵本は何冊か出ているようなので、他のも読んでみたい。

そして、この絵本が2004年に映画化された。タイトルは絵本の原題のとおり『ポーラー・エクスプレス』。DVD化されたので見てみた。

全編CGで作られていて、主人公の少年の顔には少し違和感を感じたけど、原作のイメージにかなり忠実な美しい絵で、なおかつオリジナルの様々な登場人物やエピソードなども盛り込まれていて、非常に楽しめた。「北極号」が山の中を爆走してアップダウンを繰り返すシーンでは、まるでジェットコースターに乗っているようなスリルを味わった。

また、音響効果もかなり凝っていて、最初に汽車が現れたシーンでは、汽車の音が後方から前方へ移動していくのだが、ものすごい爆音で部屋の床と壁が振動したほど。

映画の方も、クリスマスが近づいた頃に見るといっそう入り込みやすいだろうなあ。

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Comments

わたしが持っているのも、絶版になった河出書房新社版です。
いまはあすなろ書房から出ていますよね。
オールズバーグの絵本は、凄まじい皮肉に溢れているものと、人生を慈しむようなものに分かれるような気がします。
というか、後者は『北極号』しかないかも(笑)。
わたしはどんなのも好きですが。

Posted by: ヤヤー | 2006.03.03 at 10:03 PM

ヤヤーさん、こんばんは。この本、出版社が変わったんですね。版権が切れたんでしょうか。「凄まじい皮肉に溢れているもの」も面白そうですね。今度読んでみます。

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