Harald Zwart, the Norwegian film director who’s done well in Hollywood with films including The Karate Kid, has had to endure scathing criticism of his newest film, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. He was home in Fredrikstad this weekend, though, and claimed he hadn’t read any of the bad reviews.
His hometown, meanwhile, was literally rolling out the red carpet for him when his film, called Skyggejegerne: Demonenes by in Norwegian, made its premiere. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that the audience could also compete for a chance to attend the premiere party afterwards if they were the first to notice where Zwart placed a symbol of the local football club (Fredrikstad Fotballklubb) in the film.
Asked whether the bad reviews in the US press bothered him, Zwart replied: “I haven’t read a single one of them.” Then he searched through his mobile phone messages and held up one from a girl who wrote that she lives with pain every day, but forgot it while watching his new film.
“Messages like that are worth a lot more than those from sour film critics,” Zwart told Aftenposten. The film cost around USD 60 million to make. Receipts at the box office after its opening were below expectations.