Like the tasting menu of a fine restaurant, there are a lot of subtle pairings at the Doris Duke’s annual Francophile festival this week, including Francois Truffaut’s 1962 Jules and Jim and Ilmar Raag’s 2012 A Lady in Paris. Both feature the great Jeanne Moreau, one at the very beginning and the other near the close of an iconic career, and if you pick your screenings right (hint: May 12 and 15) you can even see them back to back.
To be a fan of Terrence Malick can feel like rooting for the Cubs or the Jets–a neurotic need disguised as noble loyalty. Sure he made the playoffs with Badlands and won a championship with Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line (best adult war movie, ever) but he’s got this one problem: He thinks he’s an Artist.
In one of his last messages, the late Roger Ebert pronounced 56 Up, the eighth film in Michael Apted’s Up series, which began in l964, a “great film.” And so it is, but it’s perhaps the most modest film ever made. It doesn’t thrust its greatness upon us, doesn’t insist itself: Beginning unpretentiously, it offers a tad of introduction, and then moves on, and deepens as it goes, but the depth is scarcely realized until you leave the theatre, and realize that, besides the thirteen characters, this film is about us, as indeed are all the Up films.
In a way it’s sad that “To Earth With Love,” the annual green film festival at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art, is of such high quality this year–because the better the movie, it seems, the more dire the problem. Fortunately for our spirits, these are also extraordinarily beautiful films.
Trance is one of those supersleek, visually beautiful suspense pieces, smartly acted and laid out (for its first hour and fifteen minutes) with the precision of a chess game. But then–and you’ve all seen the like–it can’t disentangle itself, having set up a conceit in which part of what you see is trance-memory, part of which is actually memory and the rest of which is “memory” implanted by a hypnotist.
Goro Miyazaki has some massive tabi to fill. After 28 years of beautifully painted films, Goro’s father Hayao is a living legend and the animator most responsible for transforming the cult following for anime into a mainstream fad–especially after his 2001 film Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animated feature.
Going in, the main question in my mind was “How long before the alt music kicks in and a bottle of Budweiser and a Ford 150 show up?” Product placement, I figured, would be where this noble attempt at getting Jack Kerouac right would meet its fate. How can Hollywood resist the mother of all road movies?
In l943, Alfred Hitchcock, writing (uncredited) with his wife and Thornton Wilder, directed Shadow of a Doubt, in which a somewhat mysterious Uncle Charlie pays an extended visit to his family and, as the story unwinds, is revealed as The Merry Widow serial killer and nearly dispatches his niece. In his first film in English, South Korean helmer Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), also working in suspense, uses an “Uncle Charlie” who enters a stricken family scene on the day of his brother’s funeral.
Beautifully turned out, the first American film from the director of the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo–the unhelpfully titled Dead Man Down–is moody, dark and tangled, with marvelous action set pieces and absolutely first-rate performances by Colin Farrell, our most underrated male lead under 40, and Noomi Rapace, the original dragon tattoo lady. It is two revenge tales in one, each dovetailing at its bullet-ridden climax with bodies strewn Hamlet-like all over the place, except for the two leads (surprise, surprise) who find other fates.
Fairy tales, legends, fables and public domain myths have been pouring out of Hollywood lately, usually to no avail. The worst of these are last season’s Riding Hood take (with werewolves yet) and this season’s Hansel and Gretel steal (grow’d up, they’re witch hunters); the Oz tales (mostly owned) are being re-“done” (see separate review, opposite page).
For as long as we can remember, Chinatown has been notorious for drugs, homelessness and filthy streets. Some claim nothing has changed–and that it never will.
Bicyclists have long been overlooked by four-wheel riders on Honolulu’s congested streets. In the gleaming, armored pecking order of the road, cyclists are too often dismissed as lane hogs, hand-signaling nuisances and unfortunates who can’t afford cars.
The fate of some 1,525 acres of land at Hoopili in ‘Ewa may have been decided last Wednesday in Hawaii’s First Circuit Court. The decision might have gone differently, but the appellant attorneys’ strategy seemed to collapse as Judge Rhonda Nishimura picked it apart based on technical errors.
Last Thursday, May 9, the Caldwell administration revealed its action plan for solving Honolulu’s homeless problem. But at the City Council’s budget meeting the same day, Budget chair Ann Kobayashi wanted to know where the money for “Housing First” (see Cover Story, pg.
The Mayor Wright Housing project has been slated for major redevelopment by the Hawaii State Housing Authority (HSHA); requests for qualifications will be going out to developers in three to six months. Nonprofit group Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) wants to make sure the project’s tenants have a say in the redevelopment process, which could include major renovations or a total rebuild.
The Honolulu City Council held a special Committee on Transportation meeting on Tuesday, May 7, to go over its Complete Streets initiative with input from the department directors of Design and Construction (DDC), Planning and Permitting (DPP) and Transportation Services (DTS). At prior meetings, including the Moiliili workshop, community members pressed the idea of combining Complete Streets with Caldwell’s repaving projects, which Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute and some councilmembers have said makes sense.
Not much to agree with my friend Doc Berry (“Limits of Growth,” April 17). None of the scenarios he posits will ever materialize.
In your Diary of May 8 (“End of the 27th)” you reported on SB 1214, passed by the Legislature. In their nimble way, the Legislature tacked the wheel boot prohibition on a bill that was intended to abolish the Commission on Transportation.
On Friday, May 3, at 3:45 p.m., I was driving town bound through the Wilson tunnel on the Likelike. I was parallel to another car, and there were several other cars following closely behind me.
Congratulations Honolulu Weekly on the recent Pai award for investigative reporting (“Boss GMO,” Jan. 4, 2012).
When the biofuel guys say that costs are “confidential” (“Big-foot Biofuel,” May 8), I reply that since I am the one who is going to end up paying the cost, I have a right to know. Frankly, when everybody tries to hide the costs, I smell rat …
The Foster Botanical Garden never ceases to inspire for an urban setting it is like a step back in time (“See the Flora,” May 8). If Koko Crater Botanical Garden contains the world’s largest plumeria collection as suggested, it may be thanks in part to the Prussian born Dr.