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Hawaii-born child actor booking plenty of work


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POSTED: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nine-year-old actor Maxim Knight is well on his way to the big time. He recently guest-starred in “;The Cleaner”; with Benjamin Bratt on A&E (you can watch Knight's measured performance as the son of a drug-addicted nurse in the “;Ordinary Man”; episode online at www.aetv.com).

Even more noteworthy is that he's in Toronto shooting a Steven Spielberg pilot for Dreamworks/TNT. In the yet-untitled project, Knight plays the son of former “;ER”; star Noah Wyle. He'll also appear in the feature film “;Ball Don't Lie,”; slated for release in October with Rosanna Arquette, Chris “;Ludacris”; Bridges and Nick Cannon.

Knight landed his first feature film role at the age of 5 in Gerard Elmore's “;All For Melissa,”; shot entirely on Oahu.

“;I remember looking at a bunch of kids (for the role),”; recalled Elmore. “;From the first second, we were like, 'This is the kid.' He was just a natural. He listened to what I wanted, but he also did a lot of stuff on his own, which is how you know you have a natural. What you need is for a kid to take your instructions and expand on them.”;

Knight was born in Hawaii and attended Wheeler Elementary School until he moved with his younger brother, Logan, 7, to Los Angeles with their mother, Laura Knight, two years ago to pursue an acting career. Laura's husband and Max's father, Stanford Bacon, is a Waipahu High School graduate who still lives at the family home in Mililani while working for the Department of Defense. Stay tuned for more about Knight and his dedicated family. Meanwhile, check out his Web series with Phyllis Diller at www.FamilyDinnerOnline.com ...

Someone once called “;Seraphine”; a “;humble film,”; which pleased the director to no end. The fictionalized portrayal of a fascinating—and largely forgotten—French artist opens tonight at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Written and directed by Martin Provost, “;Seraphine”; follows Seraphine de Senlis (played by acclaimed actress Yolande Moreau), a bohemian woman who works as a housekeeper to scrape together enough money to buy paint and canvases in the early 20th century. German art critic and collector Wilhelm Uhde (Ulrich Tukur), who was the first to discover and purchase Pablo Picasso's work, discovers Seraphine's small paintings, initially done on wood, while she was working as his cleaning lady. The potential for a lovely, happy ending takes a tragic turn, partially redeemed by the knowledge that her paintings live on in some of the most respected galleries.

The beautifully shot and structured film has been honored in Europe already, having earned seven French Academy Awards for best film, actress, original screenplay, music, cinematography, set design and costumes. The methodical pace illuminates every detail.

Provost, once an “;untrained”; painter himself, said in a previously published interview that what drew him to Seraphine “;was a kind of soul proximity, and also admiration, a form of curiosity that I've always felt for everything that stems from pure creativity. ... Seraphine is a visionary in the powerful sense of the word. She let herself be carried by something that was stronger than she was, that she did not control, at the risk of destroying herself. This moved me deeply. Indeed, her very survival depended on painting. And that becomes clear as the movie unfolds. As Provost explained, “;She was a free woman above all.”;

The film runs through Aug. 23. Visit www.honoluluacademy.org ...

More rumors are flying around about “;Cooler Kings,”; the Jerry Bruckheimer/Warner Bros. project. State and county film offices would not confirm that the big budget A&E pilot would shoot on Oahu in late September. But keep an eye out for the production. The wildly prolific and successful Bruckheimer (The “;Pirates of the Caribbean”; and “;National Treasure”; movies, the “;CSI”; series brand) doesn't go small.