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UH reading tells Civil War love story


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POSTED: Friday, April 10, 2009

Filmmaker Marc Moody is breaking ground with a new project to promote his original screenplay “;Land of Lincoln.”; At 7 p.m. Monday at the University of Hawaii, he'll stage a public reading of the story about two card sharks hiding from the law in the Union army during the Civil War. When they are separated, one embarks on a desperate search for the other. The twist? They are lovers.

However, “;the story is not about being gay,”; Moody explained. “;It's just about two men who just happen to be gay, and they are who they are in the 19th century. It's not a 'Brokeback Mountain.' It's not that kind of movie.”; Instead, Moody paid homage to films like “;Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”; and James Stewart's “;Shenandoah.”;

Nine actors will participate—including Broadway veteran Ned Van Zandt. Moody plans to shoot the reading with four cameras and use the video to generate interest in the movie online with potential investors.

“;I don't think we've done this before on the island,”; Moody said of his latest endeavor. “;This is my attempt to get this thing out and have the industry look at it. I'm trying to do what I can to make this my next movie. I have never felt this way about anything I've done before. It wrote itself.”;

As a native of Arkansas with a great-grandfather who fought for the Confederacy, “;I have thought about it more than most because I am a Southerner,”; he said. “;I really wanted to research the era.”;

Common in film schools and in Hollywood, readings are less typical here. But they are a valuable way to showcase the story by allowing actors to fully engage in the part without completely memorizing the lines in a loosely blocked performance. View the trailer at tenuretrackproductions.com…

Keep an eye out for some familiar scenery in Kanye West's latest music video. The artist was here—rather quietly—in Hawaii last week. After a few sightings on Oahu, he and his team traveled to the new Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas on Kauai, where he stayed while shooting footage for “;Amazing”; all over the island.

Apparently, word in the celeb world is spreading about the Westin Princeville. When it opened last year, “;High School Musical”; stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens vacationed there…

What to do with 565 entries from 80 schools in a student video competition? A 12-hour video marathon to screen all of the videos continuously, of course! Even if you can't manage to sit through the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. affair, you might enjoy catching some of the selections in this inaugural event April 18 at Pearlridge Center. The event is free and open to the public, staged in Pearlridge's Downtown Center Court across from Seattle's Best Coffee.

The best part of Olelo's Youth Xchange—now in its sixth year—is that it motivates students to delve into challenging issues. This year's topics included Start Living Healthy, HI-5 Recycling, Stop Flu at School, Peacemaker, Global Warming, Traffic Safety and Kupuna & Me.

If you miss the Pearlridge (ultra)marathon, watch for the videos on Olelo's FOCUS Channel 49. Visit olelo.org/yxc for air times. Winners will be announced on May 8.