When Italian-born publisher and editor Davide Cazzaro released issue zero of Nang magazine in May, it immediately caught our attention. We featured it in our monthly Coverage round up, noting that the project was ‘worth keeping an eye on’. Our initial intrigue has turned out to be well founded: much-anticipated issue one of the Asian cinema magazine is a beautifully put together piece of print.
Published out of Seoul, the 10-issue title sets out to cover Asian film culture, and its high-quality design and holistic approach makes it worth taking a closer look at. Issue 1 is dedicated to screenwriting; an area of filmmaking that Cazzaro writes is “both mysterious and marginalised, especially in regards to cinema in Asia.” Through in-depth interviews with 13 writers and writer-directors from Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Iran, the reader encounters stories about writing, tips for developing narrative, and anecdotes about surviving the complex intricacies of the film industry.
While the typography on the cover doesn’t appeal to me personally (it feels military and not elusive like the magazine’s name, ‘nang’, meaning uncertain in Thai, invokes), the way that the title has been cut out of the cover combined with the open binding is appealing. It’s a playfully tactile object: interspersed throughout interviews are photocopied screenplay excerpts (below) and hand-scrawled notes from director’s scripts (also below). There’s also a bookmark inside the magazine illustrated by manga artist Yunsung Lee (also below), an addition that invites the reader to take their time and consume the material at their own pace.
We don’t come across that many truly engaging film magazines – especially not ones with a very specific focus – so it’s always refreshing to discover a title that sheds light on an underrepresented topic with flair and style. Nang is up there with the best of the new film mags – I’d put it on my list of favourites alongside Berlin/ Melbourne-based Fireflies and the newly released, London-based Casebook.
Publisher & editor-in-chief: Davide Cazzaro
Design: Shin Shin