Must-see films during the final days of the Spring Showcase
We’re now entering the second half of the 15th Annual Spring Showcase presented by Halekulani. Our first weekend went very well and if you were too preoccupied by other events this past weekend – Prom, Kawaii-kon, AYSO soccer games, NCAA Final Four, First Fridays, or a hike up to the Lanikai Pillboxes, then don’t fret! We’re repeating some of our personal fave picks during these final days! We at HIFF know that there is precious little time for people to fit in movies during their busy schedules. So think of this as a “crib sheet” or short list of what not to miss as we close out another successful Spring Showcase:
This biopic about the “Father of Japanese modern art” Tenshin Okakura had a great first screening this past Sunday. For the Tuesday matinee screening, the director, Katsuya Matsumura, will be in attendance for the post-film Q&A. Watch this elegant film that was shot in the Ibaragi area (hardest hit by the 3/11 Tsunami) and how a community came together to shoot this film.
In the early 60s, Monica, a young, rebellious girl from Sweden is determined to make it as a singer in the vibrant jazz clubs of Stockholm and New York City. She embarks on the singing career of her dreams, now rubbing shoulders with Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Bill Evans. But behind all the glamour, Monica struggles to face the dark side of fame and success. Check out the trailer:
Tom Hardy is one of the most brilliant actors working today. His latest, LOCKE, is another example of Hardy’s acting prowess. This film takes place all in a car, with him driving through the entire film. It’s a “bottle show” or “pressure cooker” with Hardy as the only actor on screen, but it’s as exhilarating and tension-filled as any other thriller with a bigger geographical footprint. Think DRIVE meets PHONE BOOTH meets MY DINNER WITH ANDRE. This film is why film festivals exist. Check out the trailer:
We’ve got one more screening of this Straight from Sundance documentary. George Takei (aka the original Lt. Hikaru Sulu on the classic Star Trek) has always been a trailblazer as a prominent Asian American actor working in Hollywood, as an advocate for the Japanese American community and its treatment during WWII, and as an LGBT rights activist, who was on the forefront of marriage equality during the infamous Prop 8 controversy in California. He is also a maven of social media, with millions of followers who consume his Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr feeds on a daily basis. TO BE TAKEI chronicles his trailblazing life and showcases how he is, perhaps, even more relevant today as a tour-de-force entertainer and political activist. Oh, and it’s hilarious too. Go check out this final screening!
You want a real thrill ride? Then go buy tickets to AS THE LIGHTS GO OUT or what we like to call Hong Kong’s version of BACKDRAFT! Like all kick-ass Hong Kong films, this “firefighters in peril against the spreading inferno that may destroy all of Hong Kong Island” has all the best Hong Kong cinema tropes of brotherhood, amazing stunts, scene-chewing monologues in Cantonese, and oh yeah, did I say brotherhood? It’s a fun, exhilarating action film that will make you gasp and cry (some characters that you will emotionally invest in will DIE)! Check out the trailer:
Also, for a double dose of Hong Kong cinema, check out the horror film RIGOR MORTIS, that’s playing afterwards on the same night at 9:15pm. Check out Associate Director of Programming Anna Page blog entry about the Hong Kong films in the Spring Showcase.
Even though the Spring Showcase ends this Thursday, we’re not done yet with special screenings this month. We’ve got two more films playing at the Hawaii Theatre Center as part of the Cinema Hawaii series. We’re bringing back our 2014 HIFF Opening Night film FINAL RECIPE on April 14 and also screening the current biggest box-office hit of Korea, THE ATTORNEY, on April 28! Advance ticket sales available now at our website!