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Exclusive: Tran Anh Hung's Norwegian Wood Lands U.S. Release

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 14, 2011 at 4:33AM

UK's Soda Pictures and Red Flag Releasing will team on the U.S. Release of 60s Tokyo drama Norwegian Wood, which was well-received at the 2010 Venice Film Festival and in the UK, Ireland and Japan. The film is adapted by Tran Anh Hung (winner of the Golden Lion for Cyclo and Oscar-nominated for The Scent of the Green Papaya) from Haruki Murakami's 1987 nostalgic bestseller about college sexuality. Rising Japanese star Kenichi Matsuyama (Detroit Metal City) and Oscar-nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) co-star with newcomer Kiko Mizuhara. Nonesuch Records (Warner Music) will release the soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood).
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Thompson on Hollywood

UK's Soda Pictures and Red Flag Releasing will team on the U.S. Release of 60s Tokyo drama Norwegian Wood, which was well-received at the 2010 Venice Film Festival and in the UK, Ireland and Japan. The film is adapted by Tran Anh Hung (winner of the Golden Lion for Cyclo and Oscar-nominated for The Scent of the Green Papaya) from Haruki Murakami's 1987 nostalgic bestseller about college sexuality. Rising Japanese star Kenichi Matsuyama (Detroit Metal City) and Oscar-nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) co-star with newcomer Kiko Mizuhara. Nonesuch Records (Warner Music) will release the soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood).

Soda/Red Flag will work in concert with their partners to build a targeted campaign around the film. Random House's Vintage Books will release a North American movie tie-in version of the novel in concert with Murakami's new novel from Knopf, 1Q84, which is due on October 25. Red Flag plans a January 2012 theatrical run and spring VOD availability, with DVDs hitting retailers in mid- 2012.

Red Flag Releasing will handle the film's theatrical and cable/satellite VOD distribution; Soda Pictures is teaming with New York-based New Video’s Flatiron Film Company for the DVD and digital release.

Managing Director of Soda Pictures, Eve Gabereau, says:

“I am very excited about widening our distribution scope to include the US. Not only do I love the film and look forward to releasing it again with current and new distribution partners, I also see much growth opportunity for us in working directly with innovative, like-minded companies in other territories. Soda is able to expand given our injection of cash and commitment to growth from our private investment fund Soda Film Investments Ltd.”

Fortissimo Films handled foreign sales.
Mongrel Media will release the film in Canada.

This article is related to: Genres, Independents, Reviews, News, Drama, Books


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.