What the Heck?
COURTESY LOUIS VUITTON HAWAII INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Jack Bender, executive producer of "Lost," shoots the trailer for the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival.
Film festival trailer may make you feel 'Lost'
Short But Wild:
You know that 30-second TV spot for Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival, the one where the Japanese businessman falls asleep and ends up under water? It's only a snippet from the three-minute trailer that's shown before all festival films. The big screen version is full of sinister-looking animated fish and other surprises.
If it's as mysterious as an episode of "Lost," that's no surprise, since it was created by that show's executive producer, Jack Bender.
Why would an extremely busy and successful Los Angeles producer shoot a trailer for free? Says Bender, "I love being in Hawaii, I love shooting here, and I think HIFF has become one of the significant film festivals in the world." Plus, he adds, the trailer "turned out pretty cool."
All Due Respect: Japanese actor Ken Watanabe ("The Last Samurai," "Memoirs of a Geisha" and 30 other films) flies in Oct. 26 to receive HIFF's Achievement in Acting award.
Watanabe requested the award be presented by UH drama professor emeritus Terence Knapp. For years, Knapp spent his summers doing theater in Tokyo. He cast Watanabe, then a theater company apprentice, in several major roles. Watanabe still feels Knapp taught him to act.
"Oh, I'm delighted he thinks so," says the 74-year-old Knapp. "I just gave him the opportunity to find the greatness in himself. Still, I feel a very fatherly pride in his career."
The Check's in the Mail: Amy Hanaialii Gilliom opened a letter from Florida last Thursday and out fell a check for $75. The letter was from a Dr. Laurence H. Brenner, a hand surgeon, who told her he now plays only her music in his surgical suite. Congratulations on the birth of her daughter, he wrote. Would she buy her something nice from him?
Wolfe's Clothing: Karen Wolfe, head of the costume shop at Diamond Head Theatre, is bracing herself. Starting this week, the theater rents Halloween costumes, adults only. "We won't sew you a costume, but we have nearly a million different items in our collection," she says. "Whatever you want, we can probably assemble something that's close to your fantasy."
The wildest thing in her storeroom? A girl gladiator costume originally made for one of the strippers in "Gypsy." "Not everyone can wear it," says Wolfe. "There's not a whole lot to it."
What does Wolfe herself wear for Halloween? "I usually stick a straw in my pocket, and when people ask what it is, I say it's the last straw."
Pumpkin Tales: "I just finished loading 600 pumpkins into my van," said Jeff Gere. "It's pretty orange in here."
Gere is the drama specialist for the Department of Parks and Recreation (oh, you didn't know they had one?). The pumpkins, donated by Aloun Farms, are to decorate the stage at McCoy Pavilion for this weekend's Talk Story Festival.
The festival concludes this evening with half a dozen master storytellers from here and the mainland. Exclaims Gere, "It will be a bouquet of talented tongues, a constellation of colorful characters, a chance to get bitten by the narrative bug."
The festival's free, and you may go home with a pumpkin, since Gere has 600 to give away after the last performance.
Daniel's Six-String Uke:
Headlining the Celebrate the Arts! event next Saturday at Hawaii Theatre will be Grammy winner Daniel Ho. If you look closely, you'll see there's something odd about his Italian rosewood and Sitka spruce ukulele. It's got six strings instead of four, so Ho can play his whole slack-key guitar repertoire on it.
The six-string ukulele was created by brothers Alan and Paul Okami of KoAloha Ukulele. "Actually, Paul made it," says Alan. "Daniel bugged me for four years to make him one. But he finally gave up and started in on Paul."
"Ukulele makers are busy, but one day I had some time, so I made a prototype," says Paul. "Daniel came by the house and started playing it at 6 p.m. He didn't stop till we kicked him out at midnight." The instrument's now called the D6, the D standing, of course, for Daniel.
If you'd like a D6 too, you might go home with one. Noting that the event honors schools and teachers who promote arts education, the Okami brothers donated a D6 to give away to an audience member that evening.
"The only thing that got me through school was music and arts," says Alan. "These days many schools are eliminating those programs, which really concerns us."
What's In a Name? Many bring beer to a party. Seldom does anyone bring a party to the beer. Kona Brewing Co. did just that last Tuesday, throwing a wingding at its Koko Marina Pub to celebrate its first new bottled beer in eight years. Called Pipeline Porter, it's a dark brew with a touch of Kona coffee.
On the lanai, I ran into KITV anchor/reporter Jill Kuramoto, drinking water. She introduced me to her husband, David Randall, who is so into beer he brews his own at home. In fact, his friends call him Big Beer Dave. "Your husband has a great nickname," I told Kuramoto. "Do you have one, too?"
"Sure," she said. "Designated Driver."
Edgewise: Next weekend's Gridiron Show, a benefit for the Society of Professional Journalists internship program, is nearly sold out. Only a few Saturday night seats remain.
If you have to be among the first in town to know what outrages will be perpetrated and what costume Dan Cooke will wear while playing Linda Lingle, you can watch dress rehearsal at Diamond Head Theatre on Thursday -- $25, first come, first served, 6:30 p.m.
"You should warn people, though," says producer Keoki Kerr. "This is the edgiest show we've ever done."