China's Censors Clear Tran Anh Hung's 'Norwegian Wood'

The Shanghai film festival jurist will screen at the event this weekend.

SHANGHAI – Chinese filmgoers will get to see Norwegian Wood after state censors cleared the often dark film version of Haruki Murakami’s best-selling coming of age novel by French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung, sales company Fortissimo Films said on Wednesday.

From the sidelines of the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival, where Tran is a competition jurist, Fortissimo’s Esther Yeung said she’d closed a sale of his successful 2010 film with Shanghai Huayu Film Co., which plans to release it later this year in cooperation with the state importer the China Film Group.

Tran said that China's historically conservative censors at the State Administration of Radio Film and Television had asked for few changes, "small things, something really unimportant," he told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

What exactly was cut from the film that features sex scenes and two suicides won’t be revealed until a sneak preview in Shanghai this weekend, where Fortissimo said Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama, will make an appearance, flying in from Japan for the occasion.

The film which has grossed about $17 million worldwide since its September premiere, follows Japanese university student Watanabe’s romances with classmate Midori (played by Kiko Mizuhara), and Naoko, his late friend's mentally ill girlfriend (Rinko Kikuchi).

Tran’s debut feature The Scent of the Green Papaya won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993 and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. His second film Cyclo, starring popular Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai, won the Golden Lion Award for the Best Film at Venice Film Festival.

In 2000, The Vertical Ray of Sun was nominated for an Oscar and in 2009, Tran’s I Come With the Rain, featured actors from China, the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

comments powered by Disqus