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Moviegoers still can see Oscar-winning film


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POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a tough assignment, but someone has to cover the Maui Film Festival, which started last night and runs through Sunday in Wailea. Along with several other movies at various venues, “;Departures”; kicked off the event at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Luckily for everyone who missed it, the film opens in Honolulu at the Kahala 8 and in Kihei at the Kukui Mall 4 tomorrow night, and I highly recommend it. Not that it needs my endorsement after winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film this year, but the tenderness and depth of the Japanese film surprised me a little. It's about an orchestra musician who is laid off and thinks he is applying for a job at a travel agency but finds himself preparing dead people for placement in coffins (due to a miscommunication about “;departures”; and “;departed”;). I did not expect to be so deeply moved (or cry so much), especially because it's not a sad film.

Steve Jarchow, chairman and CEO of Regent Entertainment, the company that acquired and is orchestrating the movie's limited release across the United States from May through August, also is attending the Maui Film Festival, where the Yojiro Takita film makes its festival debut. Other upcoming festival appearances include Seattle, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Washington, D.C., and Palm Springs.

Movie and television actress Zooey Deschanel, whose film “;Days of Summer”; screens on the final evening, is at the festival as well. She will receive the Nova Award Tribute tonight at 8 p.m. at Wailea's SandDance Theater, and legendary entertainer Willie Nelson accepts honors Friday night. For a complete list of films, visit www.mauifilmfestival.com ...

The “;Taylor Camp”; movie is back again after another round of editing in preparation for the festival circuit. But this means there's another opportunity to see the finished product at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Spalding Auditorium at UH-Manoa. It's the first movie in the new Summer Enlightenment Film series, which runs every Sunday through Aug. 30.

Filmmakers John Wehrheim, Bob Stone and Tom Vendetti will be available to answer questions after the screening. Tickets are $12. Check the Web for the latest features: www.taylorcampkauai.com ...

Kaiser graduate Darin Brooks, who plays Max Brady on “;Days of Our Lives,”; just earned himself anther daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series. Brooks grew up in Hawaii, and has worked on the NBC soap since 2005. He's also involved with Tag the World, a charity started by Robert Parks-Valletta that raises money for a variety of causes by selling high fashion, custom-made dog tags online at www.tagtheworld.com ...

Bravo's “;Top Chef Masters”; connected with “;Lost”; last night when master chefs Wylie Dufresne, Suzanne Tracht, Graham Elliot Bowles and Elizabeth Falkner got “;Lost”; as they attempted to create a meal inspired by our favorite locally filmed serial television show. Who made the best use of ingredients such as fish, wild boar, fresh fruits and “;other island specialties?”; Guest stars and “;Lost”; producers/writers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof added to the fun on “;The Lost Supper.”; Look for additional air times on www.bravotv.com.