Hawaii Film Blog

Saturday, October 28, 2006

HIFF Report: Winners, Molesters, Mochi


  • The HIFF Award winners were announced at the longest HIFF Awards ceremony I've ever been to. It was like the Oscars, it was so long! Not to mention the buffet line took an hour to clear and I paid $9 for a glass of wine. Sheesh! But who's complaining? Anyway, here are the award winners. The best feature and best Hawaii film awards each went to female-helmed films: Lisette Flanary's "Na Kamalei: Men of Hula" about Robert Cazimero's all-male hula halau, and Nia Dinata's "Love for Share" (from Indonesia). Best documentary went to Julie Bayer and Josh Salzman's "Time and Tide." All of the winning films will be re-screened on Sunday.


  • Watched a really, really great documentary, Amy Berg's "Deliver Us from Evil," about how the Catholic Church ignores the rampant institutional problem of child molestation among its clergy. This is how documenataries should be made--it wasn't crassly manipulative like many of the more popular "maverick" docs of recent years have been. And the evasiveness of Catholic Church leaders in answering questions about their knowledge of the child rapes could not have been better scripted! I found myself thinking, are these guys for real? The film was released theatrically by Lionsgate this month, but the MPAA, in its infinite wisdom, has given its trailer a restrictive red-band rating, meaning it can only be shown before R-rated and NC-17 rated films. It did this not because there was swearing or graphic imagery in the trailer, but because of the "overt comments about child molestation throughout." Um...duh! Like, uh, that's what the film is about! Unfortunately, mainstream theater chains generally stay away from red-band trailers, so Lionsgate was compelled to release the film unrated. So if you want to catch this film (which you definitely should!), you'll have to seek out your closest arthouse theater.
  • Sat through 14 5-minute episodes of "Hal and Bonz" by Katsuhito Ishii, who made "Taste of Tea," which I loved. The mochi "interviewer" in the animated series was thoroughly charming and bizarre. The voice of mochi, Shunichiro Miki, as well as Ishii were present for a Q&A. They too were thouroughly charming. This series is sure to be a hit with the "Beavis and Butthead" meets anime crowd.

Tonight, I'm off to support my fellow Asian Americans by watching and introducing Eric Byler's "Americanese," and the DisORIENTation shorts program. Also playing tonight are Richard Wong and H.P. Mendoza's "Colma: the Musical," a truly excellent, original, quirkily poignant musical, and Ron Oda and Kris Chin's funny "Asian Stories (Book III)."

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