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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…

HIFF 2016 Tribute to King Hu, the master of wuxia films

Universally recognized as one of the most influential and important Chinese directors in the history of cinema, King Hu (1932-97) came to fame making wuxia movies – the swordplay subgenre of martial arts cinema. His pioneering masterpiece COME DRINK WITH ME marked the birth of modern martial arts cinema. DRAGON INN is a genre classic and A TOUCH OF ZEN is the ultimate wuxia epic that immortalized him in cinema history. Many of King Hu’s iconographic visuals have become essentia…

HIFF 2016 — What’s playing on Opening Night!

THE LAST PRINCESS officially kicks off HIFF 2016 with director Hur Jin-ho in attendance! This elegant, true story about the last princess of Korea has wowed audiences and grossed high box office in South Korea and we are honored to present the Festival premiere of this amazing historical drama, which will definitely appeal to HIFF audiences.

In addition to this film, Opening Night will also present other films at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18. These additional films will appeal to…

European cinema gets serious at HIFF 2016

Realism has always been at the center of European cinema and as Europe moves through some of the biggest challenges seen in half a century, their films reflect the times. This year, filmmakers confront some of the most devastating social issues facing the continent right now: the refugee crisis along the Mediterranean coast, and the future of the European welfare system. Elegant and nonpartisan, FIRE AT SEA simply records life on a Sicilian island as human beings wash up on shore every day.

Programmer’s Picks: Japanese Hits at HIFF 2016

It wouldn’t be the Hawaii International Film Festival without a massive number of the latest and greatest Japanese films, and in 2016 we’ve got some of the biggest hits of the year. Featuring a whopping 22 Japanese films across program such as Spotlight in Japan, Fantastic Asia, and Eat. Drink. Film., there is truly something for everyone. This year’s program includes a wide range of titles, from big hits such as YOUR NAME. and AFTER THE STORM, to unique independent titles such as THE BOOK…

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