Late Friday the NZFF announced three titles for this year’s edition, Anh Hung Tran’s Norwegian Wood, Saverio Costanzo’s The Solitude of Prime Numbers and Julie Moggan’s Guilty Pleasures.
The adaptation of Haruki Murakami Haruki’s bestselling Norwegian Wood brings to the screen the tale of tumultuous first loves in ’60s Japan. Directed by Vietnamese writer-director Ahn Hung Tran (double Cannes-winner The Scent of the Green Papaya), the Japanese-language film was picked up from Fortissimo for NZ distribution by Curious at Hong Kong’s FilMart earlier this year.
The week Curious picked it up, it came away from the Asian Film Awards with one win (Best Cinematographer for Ping Bin Lee) from three nominations at the Asian Film Awards. Other nominations were for Best Actress (Rinko Kikuchi) and Best Costume Designer (Yen Khe Luguern).
Elsewhere on the festival circuit, it’s picked up awards at the Dubai International Film Festival (Best Composer for Jonny Greenwood) and the Istanbul International Film Festival, where Anh Hung Tran picked up the FIPRESCI Prize in the International Competition. An English-subtitled trailer is here.
Saverio Costanzo’s The Solitude of Prime Numbers is also announced. Based on Paolo Giordano’s novel it looks at the troubled relationship between two misfits. Constanzo’s first two features (Private, In Memoria di Me) have done well on the festival circuit, picking up 10 wins and as many nominations including ones at Berlin and Valladolid.
The Solitude of Prime Numbers has had less favourable reviews than his previous two features (the only English language one found was headlined “Movies of the Weak”), but features a turn from the ever-watchable Isabella Rossellini. The Italian-language trailer is here.
Third of the films announced Friday was a documentary, Julie Moggan’s Guilty Pleasures, a light-hearted look at the world of romance novels and the people who are caught in their captivating spell. The film is produced by Rachel Wexler (My Perestroika). The film has played a number of UK festivals, although reviews are thin on the ground. “Never sentimental, only sweet,” seemed to sum up those found.