Latest Blog Posts

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,…

An informative journey of Tsukiji

By Coe Snyder ( Ebert Young Writer Participant)

TSUKIJI WONDERLAND is a well put together documentary that shows why Tsukiji fish market is the greatest fish market in the world. The film explores Tsukiji, focusing on the people who made the fish market what it was, and demonstrating the impact that it had on Japan’s seafood culture.

TSUKIJI WONDERLAND successfully captures the essence of Tsukiji by focusing on the intermediate wholesalers of Tsukiji. The intermediat…

The told and the untold of an Arctic village

By Veerle van Wijk (Ebert Young Writers Participant)
KIVALINA, a feature-length documentary from director Gina Abatemarco, tells the story of an isolated village in North Alaska threatened by rising sea levels and storms. The situation is real and tragic. However touching the film may be at times, it is not a very new or innovative climate change-themed documentary. Powerful is how Abatemarco manages to make a film about climate change without including the often-told message of t…

Content and Design Copyright © 2009-2015 Hawaii International Film Festival