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Still BREATHLESS After 50 Years

This summer celebrates 50 years of the French New Wave classic by the single most influential auteur of the movement himself Jean-Luc Godard and it’s an anniversary that couldn’t be more deserved.

It’s often said movies are divided into the two categories:  before-Breathless and after-Breathless.  I mean, where would independent cinema be without this piece of innovative celluloid?  Charmingly raw with it’s use of shaky hand held cameras, jump cuts, freeze frames, use of non-professional actors, jumbled narrative, improvised naturalistic dialogue, shooting on-location with everyday lighting, film reference upon film reference upon film reference, breaking-the-fourth-wall and self-reflexiveness, Godard’s Breathless influenced, well… EVERYTHING.  Fin.

The “Happy 50th Birthday, Breathless” Trailer

More about Godard’s latest film after the jump…


Pierrot le fou (1965)

Traditionally, HIFF has been a pretty big hitter when it comes to films of Asia and the Pacific; and don’t get me wrong, I dig it.  However, if I were to pick a favorite (and believe me, I’m going to be the type of parent that will have a favorite child), I’d have to say that European film has stolen my heart–and with style.

Pierrot le fou (1965)Pierrot le fou (1965)

Celebrating it’s 30th anniversary, HIFF will be bringing in a new-cool to this year’s fall film festival.  Anderson Le recently took a trip to the 63rd Festival de Cannes, and although it’s not set in stone which films will be chosen, I can guarantee HIFF30 will be one of the best yet. If not, I’ll go to Cannes myself next year to make sure of it (did that work? Can I go to Cannes yet?).

HIFF has also partnered up with EuroCinema Hawaii this fall, to whom I’d like to thank for making our Euro-faves a whole lot easier to enjoy.  Founded in 2009, EuroCinema Hawaii has taken some significant strides in assisting creative media students with scholarships and the means to have their stories heard worldwide.

And because I love posting trailers and movie clips, the following are three trailers I’ve casually come across (see: have been obsessing over) this summer.  Tournée and Dogtooth both premiered at Cannes, and Terribly Happy is what would happen if the Coen Brothers had a baby with David Lynch.


Tournée (2010) – Mathieu Amalric / France

I Left My Heart in New York (NYAFF)

[img_assist|nid=351|title=NYAFF 2010 Logo|desc=|link=url|url=|align=right|width=217|height=129]I wish I was in New York this week, since the 2010 New York Asian Film Festival is going on right now. This collection of modern films from China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and a few other Asian countries will knock your socks off! From martial arts flicks like IP MAN 1 & 2, MERANTAU and RAGING PHOENIX to intriguing dramas like THE ACTRESSES, ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW or CONFESSIONS, there’s something for everyone.

HIFF is working to get some of these films for our audiences here in Hawaii to play in our October festival, but we can’t announce any titles just yet. Be sure to check out the NYAFF festival trailer below, it’s really cool.

God Save the Queen?

I had this friend who said he saw BAND OF OUTSIDERS in a movie theater once and it changed his life a little. Now I want my life to change a little!

As the last vintage movie house on Oahu, Queen Theater on Waialae Ave in Kaimuki would be the perfect venue for these sort of films. Concerned residents are already forming a coalition to save it, which you can read all about in the June 23rd issue of the Honolulu Weekly. Be a part of their cinephile army? Visit and join their email list to add your signature to their “1,000 Friends of Queen Theater” petition.


I’m Ready for My Close-up

I’ve been obsessed with screen tests lately.  Must be all that effortlessly cool (warning: watching these videos too closely/for too long could bruise you).  Here are three of my favorites.  The Entire Male Population, take notes.

Two more videos are included in the full article.

Vietnam’s first… Hip Hop Movie?!?!

Say what??? Yeah, that’s what we thought at first too. Coming soon from Stephane Gauger, who won the HIFF 2007 NETPAC Award with his feature film debut OWL & THE SPARROW is hip hop themed dance film SAIGON ELECTRIC. This is a look at today’s youth culture in Vietnam, where hip hop, graffiti and other aspects of western culture are being integrated. The film is currently in production and set for a mid-December release in Vietnam. HIFF’s Programming Director Anderson Le is involved in this project as an Executive Producer.

A short synopsis of the film:

Mai, a traditional ribbon dancer from the outskirts of Saigon arrives to the big city and forms an unlikely friendship with Kim, a rebellious street dancer who introduces her to the underground scene of hip hop crews in modern-day Vietnam.


Efron vs. Maui Film Festival

I don’t know why I’m writing this, when fellow B-Logger Dana’s the one who has an alleged “history” with him (InTouch, call me if you need a “source close to the star”), but here goes anyway:  Last Thursday, Zac Efron was honored with the Shining Star Award at the 2010 Maui Film Festival.  Past recipients include Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel.  An interesting move by film festivals looking to attract mainstream audiences on top of their already wading cinephile pools.

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Sofia Coppola’s back with SOMEWHERE

Finally.  A trailer.  

Sure to resurrect Stephen Dorff’s career, establish a Team Dakota vs. Team Elle tabloid rivalry, feature a killer new wave soundtrack, and reignite my burning twentysomething fantasy of holding hands with Sofia Coppola . . . but why do we have to wait until December?

Youtube Collaborates with the Guggenheim

No other medium is pushing the boundaries of creativity like video. YouTube Play, a collaboration between YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum, wants to recognize and showcase the most remarkable online videos from around the world. To have your work considered simply post it on YouTube and then submit it at A jury of experts will decide which works will be shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Submissions close July 31, 2010.

Can someone help me find my socks cause this promo just blew them right–ahh, you get the picture. In short, WHOA.


Last year’s HIFF 2009 brought a significant amount success stories that are making 2010 a fabulous year for film (PRECIOUS, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS, THE PEOPLE I’VE SLEPT WITH, etc, etc, ETC)  

One in particular, HARIMAYA BRIDGE (2009), has finally had it’s closing week at Dole Theaters after an astonishing seven week release following the footsteps of DEPARTURES (featured at HIFF 2008).

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In this film, father Daniel Holder deals with the death of his son by traveling to Japan to claim his son’s artwork. As you can imagine, there is a loss of translation and more than a handful of cultural differences–they take their shoes off here and I find that weird, kinda thing–in spite of everything, Daniel learns more about his son than originally planned while still grieving over their tumultuous relationship. 

To catch a glimpse, we’ll just now have to wait for it’s DVD release (or Netflix release if you’re like me and hate going outside) which is scheduled to come out sometime in Fall 2010.

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