Latest Blog Posts

Behind every successful man, there is a great woman: THE PATRIARCH

By Nicole Lockwood (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Hawaii’s premiere screening of the New Zealand film, The Patriarch (2016) was a reunion for director Lee Tamahori and lead actor Temuera Morrison: the dynamic duo also worked together on Once Were Warriors(1994) and in its sequel What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? (1999). 

The Patriarch tells the story of two Maori families that compete for the local sheep shearing contracts, but they also seem to be stuck in an…

Shadows of a lost story and a lost filmmaker

By Veerle van Wijk (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

“Heroes come in different sizes, a little woman can be a big hero.” This is the key trigger that pushes Finding Kukan forward. Director Robin Lung started this magnificent documentary when finding out about the lost Oscar-winning documentary Kukan, a film about the life of Chinese people during the Japanese invasion. She was especially interested in the story of Li Ling-Ai, a Chinese-Hawaiian woman that worked on Kukan along wit…

TONI ERDMANN Highlights Anxiety and Humor in This Years Darkest Comedy

By Laura Garber (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann depicts the shadow of comedy and despair. The film’s use of real time gives clear indication that the audience will easily relate from the start. Ade utilizes her 2-hour-plus film to build up to the final scenes with small bursts of regular life climactic dramas. From a dog’s death to a bad massage, every detail almost seemed stagnant after the 2-hour mark, leading you to believe that patience is a hard…

To Walk in the Footsteps of my Grandfather

By Josh Lee (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

95 and 6 To Go, a documentary directed by Kimi Takesue, tells the story of a hardworking and family-oriented grandfather in his last few years, as his granddaughter (the filmmaker herself) follows her passions for film-making. This story is centered around her graduate screenplay as her grandfather, Tom Takesue, becomes enthralled by the story and begins to offer suggestions that linked grandfather and daughter in the most obscur…

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose to be happy: Desperate Sunflowers

By Nicole Lockwood (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Desperate Sunflowers (2016) is a Japanese film adapted from the 2010 bestselling novel Iya na Onna, written by Nozomi Katsura. The director, Hitomi Kuroki, has had an extensive acting career in both Japanese film and television, and with Desperate Sunflowers she now makes her debut as a director.  All through the film I kept thinking to myself, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” Desperate Sunflowers…

Stubbornly Ready to Burst in to Flame

By Kristin Ann Rivera (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

“Without love, what reason is there for anything?”

Ohio Blue Tip Matches. The matches are the inspiration for the first poem written by Paterson, the main character in Paterson, played by Adam Driver, a new thought-provoking film directed by Jim Jarmusch. This is where the real story begins. In the morning, just before work, sitting at the kitchen table, cup of milk and cereal, Paterson holds the little blue and white matchbox.

WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! – A Hilarious Take on Divorce, Values, and Relationships

By Ariel Ushijima (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

In the new feature film What a Wonderful Family!, the first scene begins with a simple phone call at home.  A woman picks up the phone to answer and the caller is blunt with the man on the other line saying, “It’s me! It’s me. Don’t you know?” The woman is confused and accuses the man of being a phone scammer. After our caller does not introduce himself, we find out that it was the father figure of the house, Shuzo Hirata…

The Horror is Alive

By Kristin Ann Rivera (Ebert Young Writer Participant)

Every apocalypse has its beginning, and in this case, it is where Resident Evil collides with Walking Dead. Written and directed by Yeon Sang-Ho, Seoul Station presents a world preceding the zombie takeover. The survival horror film opens with a bright palette of sky as an old man is seen walking through the city, while grasping his neck as it bleeds out. Onlookers, though concerned, refrain from going out of their way to help.

Success in Life for a Late Bloomer

By Nicole Lockwood (Young Ebert Writer Participant)

After the Storm (2016) is a Japanese film by director Hirokazu Kore-Eda. The storylines of Kore-Eda’s award-winning previous films, Still Walking (2008) and Like Father, Like Son (2013), have focused on the relationship between father and child. After the Storm continues this tradition to a certain extent. The difference is that although the plot in After the Storm focuses on the paternal relationship, the bond between a mother and…

Southeast Asian cinema at HIFF 2016

In celebration of Hawaii’s diversity of cultures and the emphasis in creating more diversity through stories, this year’s HIFF 2016 lineup of Southeast Asian films include films from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Laos. Southeast Asian voices and stories are not often seen in American cinema, but this year’s festival is bringing these unique stories to the screen. From the nostalgic memories of having a first love to a man who loses his identity along with his memory and fights his way back,…

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