By Steven Mark / email@example.com
Get a preview to some of the Asian filmmakers whose work will be featured at this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival at the University of Phoenix’s downtown Honolulu campus over the next three Fridays.
Screening this Friday Sept. 24 is “Raise the Red Lantern,” Zhang Yimou’s epic tragedy of a young woman who becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy man.
The political maneuverings of the plotline, the lavish cinematography, and the powerful acting in this 1995 film have made it one of the most requested at HIFF and a work that is considered seminal to the new Chinese cinema.
Zhang, who went on to direct big-budget productions like “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers,” as well as the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games, returns to the smaller, more intimate storytelling at this year’s HIFF with “The Love of the Hawthorne Tree.”
Screening Oct. 1 is “The Taste of Tea,” Katsuhito Ishii’s comedy about a housewife-turned-filmmaker and her domestic problems. Ishii worked with Quentin Tarantino on the animated sequences of “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” His latest release, “Red Line,” an animated feature, will be premiered at HIFF.
On Oct. 8, Chinese documentary maker Jia Zhangke will be featured in a screening of his 2000 film “Platform.” The film follows a troupe of amateur actors and how the socioeconomic upheavals of the 1980s affected them. Jia will be the Filmmaker in Focus at this year’s HIFF, which will be screening the U.S. premiere of his documentary “I Wish I Knew.”
The free screenings are at 7 p.m. in room 101/102 at the University of Phoenix’s Honolulu campus on the ground floor of the Topa Financial Center, 745 Fort St.
Call 535-9099, ext. 104 for information.
Photos by Aaron Yoshino
Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Clones of the Queen, DJ Sick Tyte and more bands performed on September 18 at an event called “ARTee at The Venue.” The event featured local artists’ T-shirts and local musicians, and was sponsored by FLUX magazine.
By TIM GOODMAN
San Francisco Chronicle
The entire point of remakes is that there are no good ideas on television anymore. No, wait, scratch that. The entire point is that by feeding you something you might be familiar with — and perhaps liked the first time around or in reruns — it’ll be that much easier to sell it to you again without all the explaining.
So, do you need “Hawaii Five-O” explained? Not the one from some years back with Jack Lord. The one from 2010 with, um, Alex O’Loughlin as McGarrett, and premiering Monday at 9 p.m. (on KGMB). Sure you do, so here’s what CBS says in an almost believable way:
” ‘Hawaii Five-O’ is a contemporary take on the classic series about a new elite federalized task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the islands’ sun-drenched beaches. Detective Steve McGarrett, a decorated naval officer-turned-cop, returns to Oahu to investigate his father’s murder and stays after Hawaii’s governor persuades him to head up the new team: his rules, her backing, no red tape and full-blanket authority to hunt down the biggest ‘game’ in town.”
OK, if you just threw up in your mouth a little bit, don’t worry. It’s not that bad. In fact, it’s almost impossible to mess up a series shot on location in Hawaii and featuring Grace Park in a bikini. You would have to make it turn it into a sci-fi comedy to really mangle it. Although the first 15 minutes may have you thinking they’ve overdone it on the action steroids, the show calms down after that. You’ll get Scott Caan as Danny “Danno” Williams and Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly. Park plays Kono Kalakaua. There appears to be no Wo Fat of yet, which almost kills it, but perhaps he’ll surface later.
“Hawaii Five-O” is nothing but entertainment. It’s eye candy. Waves, sun, island culture. A bad guy surfaces, McGarrett goes to work. Danno books him. End of story. Sometimes there are gun battles. Fists fly. That’s all there is, folks. It’s not rocket science. True, watching the original is more fun. And more cheesy. But waves are waves. Hawaii is still pretty. And if you’re looking for anything deeper than that, you’ve landed on the wrong island. “Lost” is over. Let your mind take a break.
REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER
Labs are by definition a place where experiments are conducted. Some experiments are successful. Others are not. The University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Late Night Theatre season opener, “The Beginning of the Ed,” is one of the latter.
W.M. Balou’s script is described as a “mash up” of “Oedipus the King” and “Romeo and Juliet” and includes characters from both tragedies. It’s a concept that worked quite well for MAD magazine and Rocky & Bullwinkle’s “Fractured Fairy Tales” decades ago but there is a tremendous difference between being funny and Trying-To-Be-Funny. Silliness is no substitute for good writing — silliness prevails here.
Ed Ipus (Jenn Thomas) eventually discovers that his wife is also his mother but the discovery is neither tragic nor comic. Julie, a “valley girl”-type also played by Thomas, dies several times, as do Romeo (D’neka Patten) and Capulet (Jillian Blakkan-Struss), all with the same lack of entertainment value.
Director Chris McGahan’s best idea is the scene where two characters fight while the unidentified sound man plays a recording of what sounds like an original “fight song.” There’s also a quick sight gag in the scene where James Schirmer is playing a shepherd and pulls out a blackboard with sheep drawn on it. There is also an insider line about how “nobody reads the director’s notes” in a playbill.
That’s as good as it gets.
McGahan and almost every member of the cast has done better work in previous UH productions, but then they all had better material to work with.
Spoof these classic plays? Parody them? Satirize them? It’s been done many times before and done much better than this.
“The Beginning of the Ed”
Where: Earle Ernst Lab Theatre, UH-Manoa
When: 11 p.m. tonight (9/17) and tomorrow (9/18)
Cost: $10 general admission ($8 UH faculty/staff, seniors, military and students; $UHM students w/current student ID)
Info: 956-7655 or www.hawaii.edu/kennedy
Photos by FL Morris
The group Ta’ltosh Collective performe on September 16th.
Thursday night’s season premiere of “Nikita,” the CW action series starring Hawaii’s Maggie Q, kicked butt with viewers and drew the largest audience for the network in 18 months, according to Live Plus Same Day Nielsen ratings released by the network.
“Nikita” was seen by an estimated 3.6 million people who tuned into the 9-10 p.m. time slot.
It also matched the network’s all-time best ratings in that time slot for women 18 to 34 with a 1.9 rating and a 5 share. The rating is a percentage of all TV households and the share is the percentage of people watching TV at that time who are tuned in to a particular show.
Maggie Q is a graduate of Mililani High School whose big-screen appearances include “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007) “Balls of Fury” (2007) and “Mission: Impossible III” (2006).
Photos by Craig T. Kojima
Chef Nobu and his buddy Chef Yasuhiro Sasajima, right, will be touring MAO Organic Farms and cooking there. Chef Sasajima was tasting the greens.
By JOLEEN OSHIRO
World-famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa took his culinary buddy, Kyoto sensation Yasuhiro Sasajima, to MA’O Organic Farms for a cooking demonstration Thursday. The dynamic duo took a short tour of the farm and then commenced to cook in MA’O’s new outdoor kitchen and recently completed earth oven.
Their menu was dazzling: Local Crudite with Kalua Pig Bagna Cauda, featuring a pureed pig and anchovy dip for the freshly picked veggies; Eggplant Trio, comprising grilled eggplant with honey anticucho sauce; Nasu miso; and roasted aubergine with dashi Ponzu and bonito; Crispy Tofu Skin (aburage) with Gazpacho Sauce, featuring WOW tomatoes that provided a refreshing,high-impact flavor; and Ahi and Salmon Donburis, which presented the fish poke style ‹ raw, cubed and seasoned, then mixed with ogo, veggies and roe, and spread atop rice in proper donburi fashion. It was hearty and simply delicious.
Matsuhisa’s in town to present a special Omakase menu ($130) at Nobu Waikiki today and Saturday.
The menu features eight courses, alternating between dishes from Matsuhisa and Sasajima. They include Matsuhisa’s Trio of small bites, comprising Big Eye Ahi and Boton Ebi ‘Pomegranate,’ Uni Tiradito, and King Crab and Heart of Palm Mini Taco with Wasabi Salsa, and Sasajima’s Wagyu Roast with Hanapape salt, oxtail and potato fricassee and poached egg.
Sasajima, owner of Il Ghiottone, Il Ghiottone Cucineria, Trattoria Bar Il Ghiottone and Il Ghiottone Marunouchi, is famous for his Italian-Japanese cuisine and use of local vegetables. Sasajima makes innovative leaps within Shojin tradition, a vegetarian style of cooking established by Buddhist monks.
Matsuhisa calls his friend’s food ‘a revolution.’
Call 237-6999 or visit www.noburestaurants.com/waikiki/index.html.
By Gary C.W. Chun
The hit show “Sing-A-Long Sound of Music” will debut at the Hawaii Theatre October 1 through 3.
The fun presentation of the classic 1965 movie musical with audience participation has logged thousands of performances in nine different countries since its debut in England of August 1999.
The audience will get a vocal warm-up and packs of special props that will be used throughout the movie. A costume competition is also part of the festivities (dressing up is not compulsory, but it is encouraged).
Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1 and 2; and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. $17 general admission ($12 theater members), and a special $7 price for those 17 and under for the Sunday performance.
Call 528-0506 or visit www.hawaiitheatre.com.
BY MIKE GORDON
Liam Neeson has joined cast of “Battleship,” the action-adventure saga now filming in Hawaii, Universal Pictures announced today.
The 58-year-old Neeson, who earlier this year played Zeus in “Clash of the Titans” and Col. Hannibal Smith in “The A Team,” will star as the character known as “Admiral Shane.”
“Battleship” also features Taylor Kitsch as a Naval officer named Hopper who is engaged to the admiral’s daughter, Sam, played by Brooklyn Decker.
Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna also star in the film.
Peter Berg, who directed “Hancock” and “Friday Night Lights,” is directing. “Battleship,” loosely based on the Hasbro boardgame of the same name, has been described by Universal as an epic story that unfolds across the seas,
in the skies and on land “as our planet fights for survival against a superior force.”
“Battleship” will be filming today, tomorrow, Thursday and Sept. 15 aboard a real battleship, the USS Missouri, forcing the closure of the popular tourist attraction, the Battleship Missouri Memorial Association announced.
The film is expected in theaters in May 2012.
Photos by FL Morris / firstname.lastname@example.org
Review by Gary Chun
Sometimes, you just have to thank your lucky stars that you were able to witness a concert special enought that it will be talked about for months.
That happened last night at Pipeline Cafe, when New Orleans rock band MUTEMATH made their Hawaii debut. In the parlance of performers, MUTEMATH “killed it.”
Even though the band has had a few forays into the national limelight, thanks to songs like “Typical,” “Spotlight” and “Backfire,” the quartet of guitarist Greg Hill, singer-keyboardist Paul Meany, bassist Roy Mitchell Cardenas and drummer Darren King have really made their reputation as a live band. Here in Honolulu, they didn’t disappoint at all, making many new fans.
The tightly focused set they played may have been one they’ve done many times on the road before, but the guys didn’t phone it in. MUTEMATH played with commitment and verve, and besides Meany, who is a charismatic frontman with a fine voice, everybody had their moment to shine.
Putting King and his drum kit along the front line as part of the stage setup was a brilliant idea, because the man is a show unto himself, as he and rhythm-mate Cardenas attacked the songs’ beats and grooves with an authority that can be traced back to the band’s Nawlins roots. Hill’s guitar sound was at times reminiscent of the Edge’s approach in the early years of U2, with its chiming notes and chords.
The strength of MUTEMATH’s sound is its ability to draw on the strengths of all kinds of music. Their hit songs sound great live — the buildup in “Typical” blew me away — and when they go off on rhythmic tangents, like during the extended encore, MUTEMATH always finds its way back home.
And I give props to Meany, who acknowledged the memory of Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole by leading the band through a toned-down, reggae-groove version of “Peculiar People” that wouldn’t sound out of place in any given local club. By night’s end, the Pipeline crowd had succumbed to — taking a phrase from the band’s song “Control” — the “beautiful surrender” of MUTEMATH’s music.
The band’s return to the islands wouldn’t be too soon.