JUNE 24/25/26


‘Cinema Paradise’

The annual film festival finds
a new home in Chinatown

The university area's loss is downtown's gain. This year's Cinema Paradise Independent Film Festival was originally scheduled again in May at the Varsity theaters. But when co-director Sergio Goes found out he and partner Chris Kahunahana lost the venue "due to Consolidated Theatres trying to sell their theaters here," they decided to move it to the Chinatown space they recently leased.

Box office opens Friday

Cinema Paradise Independent Film Festival

Where: Next Door, 43 N. Hotel St.

When: Friday through July 1

Tickets: $20 and $30 for day passes, and $100 for "cinemaniac passes." Box office at the venue opens Friday at 3 p.m.

Call: 550-0496 or go online at www.cinemaparadise.org

After eyeing the shabby but spacious building next door to thirtyninehotel for about a year, Goes, Kahunahana and business partner Miguel Innes felt that the aptly named Next Door should be ready to accommodate adventurous film buffs this weekend.

And much like the building's interior, this year's festival has been reimagined and rebuilt in the spirit of its new home.

Being publicized as "8 days and nights of film, art, music and love," Goes has brought in films from São Paulo, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Bombay, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the West Bank, Madrid, Rome, Moscow, New York and, in hopes in following their cutting-edge lead, Honolulu.

A free youth media workshop for ages 12 to 18 will take place noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, sponsored by the Hawaii Film Office. Students will be given access to state-of-the-art digital production and post-production equipment to collaborate on their five-minute documentaries screened before that evening's main feature.

But what about the art and music? Throughout the festival, a mixed media installation called "The Collab Project," will bring together the talents of David Ellis and Kiku Yamaguchi of the mainland art collective the Barnstormers, New York-based veejay (sic) and local artist Joseph K Pa'ahana. The finished work will remain on display as Next Door's first art piece.

Other events will include, on Friday, San Francisco DJ J Boogie's Dubtronic Science. Formed in 1997, Justin Boland's group features turntables, mixed in with live percussion, drums, sax, flute, trumpet and vocals.

The next night, Brazilian percussionist Carlinhos do Pandeiro and his son Ted will create a scintillating blend of samba, hip-hop and electronica.

Throughout the day Sunday and late that night is "B-Boy Reunion 4," hosted by Lord One and Moxxx, and featuring choke throwdowns, like 3-on-3 B-Boy battles, B-Girl battles, MC and DJ battles, and even a human beatbox battle. There will also be an "aerosol art show" (aka graffiti) and guest performances by LA Breakers, Wildstyle and more. Honolulu's Nocturnal Sound Krew will spin starting at 11 p.m.

On June 27, designer Zana Tsutakawa will show off her new Akane summer collection in a surf and skate fashion show.

And on June 30, following the screening of the documentary "Sorceress of the New Piano," its subject Margaret Leng Tan, the New York-based "diva of avant-garde pianism," will perform her inspiring compositions on toy pianos.

While the number of this year's Cinema Paradise's film have been "downsized" due to construction, Goes promises "a full-fledged festival come mid-May of 2006."

"Butterfly" plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the Spanish short "The Natural Route."


» 6 p.m.: Opening celebration lion dance
» 7:30 p.m.: "Butterfly" (with Spanish short "The Natural Route"): The Hong Kong feature is about a married school teacher who has to choose between her husband and child and her love affair with another woman.
» 11 p.m.: Performance by J Boogie's Dubtronic Science


» Noon to 5 p.m.: Free youth media workshop (see story above)
» 4 p.m.: Animation and live shorts
Animated: "Crocodile Journals" (Singapore); "Joyride," "Gopher Broke," "Land of Life" and "In the Rough" (U.S.)
Live: "Burnt" (Hawaii); "Broadcast 23," "Quitters," "Twitch," "Perfect Heat" and "Television" (U.S.)
» 6 p.m.: "Up Against Them All (Contra Todos)" (with Italian short "Winter Sea"): Made by the producers of the searing "City of God," this Brazilian film tells a story of lies, betrayal and revenge within a disintegrating family in a lawless neighborhood in the outskirts of São Paulo.
» 8:30 p.m.: "Favela Rising" (with Brazilian short "Palindrome"): Winner of the Best Documentary Filmmaker award at this year's Tribeca Film Festival in New York, it tells the story of how former drug soldier Anderson Sa uses the new and old music of Rio de Janeiro to help the youth fight back against a dictatorship enforced by violent teenage drug outlaws and sustained by corrupt police. Director Jeff Zimbalist will be present at the screening.
» 11 p.m.: Performance by Carlinhos do Pandeiro and his son Ted de Oliveira

"Riker's High" is a documentary about three male youths imprisoned in Riker's Island in New York City.


» Noon to 6 p.m.: "B-Boy Reunion 4" (see story above)
» Noon to 10:30 p.m. at the ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.: A special screening of the epic Chinese documentary "West of Tracks." The nine-hour film is divided into three episodes, "Rust," "Remnants" and "Rails." Filmed over a two-year period in the Tie Xi industrial district -- one of the hardest-hit areas of northeastern China -- the sprawling documentary explores the lives, loves, livelihoods, aspirations and frustrations of factory workers and their families caught in the country's rush to modernity.
There will be intermissions between the episodes (including halfway through the first two episodes), and refreshments and light pupus will also be served.
Tickets are $10 for the entire day.
» 6 p.m.: "Little Peace of Mine" (with U.S. short "Stolen Lives"): A documentary from Israel, about a 12-year-old Israeli from Jerusalem who forms a "Peace for the Future" childrens' movement. The camera follows Nadav during two years, revealing the story of his coming of age, and his unique friendship with a 13-year-old Palestinian girl who lives in east Jerusalem.
» 8:30 p.m.: "Riker's High" (with U.S. short "Sling Shot Hip Hop"): The documentary tells the story of three male youths who are imprisoned in Riker's Island in New York City, one of the largest correctional facilities in the world. It also tells the story of the dedicated teachers who serve as de facto parents for many of the inmates. Filmmaker Victor Buhler will be present at the screening.
» 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.: More "B-Boy Reunion 4" and the Nocturnal Sound Krew

"Punk: Attitude" features interviews with several music groups, including The Clash.


» 6 p.m.: "Punk: Attitude" (with Indian short "Evaporations"): Don Letts, who was there when the U.S. and British punk scenes were in full fury in the mid-1970s, and went on to direct all of the Clash's music videos and more than 300 other videos and music documentaries, is back with a new work chronicling teenage rebellion and the defiant music movement. It features interviews with such people as his mates from the Clash, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, Tommy Erdelyi of the Ramones, Glen Matlock and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, and numerous others from New York and London who were there.
» 8:30 p.m.: "Who Cares: The Duane Peters Story": Like the documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys," John Lucero's film is all interviews intercut with vintage skate footage. Lucero argues, however, that there was someone else outside the vaunted Zephyr skate team who was just as influential in skateboarding, perhaps the most influential skater ever. He's Duane Peters of Orange County, Calif., the so-called Master of Disaster known for his reckless lifestyle filled with drugs, crime and a penchant for personal injury.
The preceding short, "Fire," is the highly anticipated film by legendary body boarder Mike Stewart. Five years in the making, Goes says that this is not your usual surf film. "The blinding forces of our society collide with the inner rhythm of nature," is how Stewart describes his half-hour vision. "Follow a life's pursuit of a wave rider to decipher the rhythm in the randomness of it all."
» 10:30 p.m.: Akane surf and skate summer fashion show, with local bands X-Factor and Swampa ZZ

"The Devil's Miner" plays at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday with the Hawaii short "Silent Years."


» 6 p.m.: "The Prisoner of the Iron Bars (Self-Portraits)" (with Brazilian short "Curupira"): Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Tribeca Film Festival, it's compiled of images made over a year by a crew of professional filmmakers and the prisoners themselves of Carandiru prison in São Paulo, the largest penitentiary in Latin America. Through a series of self-portraits, the inmates show what daily life is like in this overcrowded facility.
» 8:30 p.m.: "The Devil's Miner" (with Hawaii short "Silent Years"): An unusual documentary set in an old but still functioning silver mine in Cerro Rico, Bolivia, shot over a five-year period. The miners are mostly of American Indian descent where, above ground, they're pious Catholics, but underground, the devil rules, a deity who decides whether a rich vein of the mineral will be found. One of the film's directors, Kief Davidson or Richard Ladkani, will be present at the screening.

"Sund@y Seoul" is a South Korean drama playing at 6 p.m. Wednesday.


» 6 p.m.: "Sund@y Seoul" (with Russian short "Serious Fitness"): This South Korean drama delves into how the Internet constructs and dismantles peoples' lives. The characters themselves have sensationalistic lives, worthy of the tabloids. There are stalkers, bored housewives, suicides and cyberspace masseuses, in stories about a high-schooler who falls for a call girl he meets while surfing the 'Net, a housewife whose life changes when she inherits a friend's chatroom ID and the college professor who desperately tracks down his mistress (and former student) by installing a hidden camera in a motel room.
» 8:30 p.m.: "Shinju Elegy" (with Japanese short "Blue"): Bandai and Kyoko share a similar death wish which they discover by secretly meeting with each other every day in a rented apartment. The two keep their meetings a secret from their spouses, but soon their secret is out. While Kyoko's husband will go to any length to cover for her, Bandai's wife is equally determined to make public Kyoko's indiscretion. The ironies of sex, life and death are explored through multiple perspectives of the four protagonists.

"Sorceress of the New Piano" is another documentary. It plays at 8:30 p.m. June 30.

June 30

» 6 p.m.: "Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege" (with Hawaii short "Rolling Down Like Pele"): Directed by longtime film activist Puhipau, his documentary production team Na Maka o ka Aina has captured on video, for five consecutive years, the seasonal moods of the Big Island's unique 14,000-foot summit environment, as well as the volcano's varied ecosystems, its legends, and the political turbulence surrounding whether its summit should be used for astronomical observatories or preserved as a cultural landscape sacred to the native Hawaiian people.
» 8:30 p.m.: "Sorceress of the New Piano" (with U.S. short "Solitude"): This documentary celebrates the transcultural career of Singapore-born and New York-based maverick pianist Margaret Leng Tan. It traces her quest for a new piano language, highlighting her latest transformation as the world's first professional toy pianist, turning the humble instrument into something worthy of the international concert stage.
» 10:30 p.m.: Margaret Leng Tan in concert

July 1

» 6 p.m.: Award ceremony for best international dramatic and documentary features, best international short film, best international animation, and winner of the Hale Ki'i 'Oni'oni Award for local filmmakers
» 9 p.m.: Free closing night party, featuring DJ Coop D'ville


‘HIFF Summer Saturday’
offers 3 films

The Hawaii International Film Festival, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has scheduled a special day this weekend to mark the occasion.

"HIFF Summer Saturday" will be presenting three titles throughout the day at the Hawaii Theatre.

It all starts at 12:30 p.m. with "The Beat That My Heart Skipped," the French film that debuted at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. In this follow-up to his critical smash "Read My Lips," Jacques Audiard has adapted and updated the cult 1978 American noir thriller "Fingers," about a young man torn between a life of crime as a Parisian property shark and a hopefully better career in classical music.

Next at 3:30 p.m. is "Mughal-E-Azam," a 1960 Bollywood extravaganza. Forty-five years after it was first released, and 10 years in the making, the film is based on the legend of the love between Prince Salim, son of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and a dancer named Anarkali. In keeping with the times back then, the romance is depicted with subtle glances and delicate expressions. Continually torn between love for his only son and his duty as an emperor, Akbar's dilemma lends complexity to the story. The grandeur of the costumes, the splendor of the Mughal Court, and the song-and-dance numbers make the film a landmark in Indian cinema, even being heralded as the Indian "Gone With the Wind."

The day winds down with a 7:30 p.m. screening of a new South Korean film, "Marathon," a big hit in its home country. Based on a true story, "Marathon" is about a young man with autism (Cho Seung-Woo) whose one pleasure is running. Happy that he can do anything, his mom hires him a coach to train him to run marathons, but the only coach she can afford is a washed up loser whose best days are behind him. Seung-Woo's performance has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike as one of the year's best.

Tickets are $9 general; $8 seniors, military and students; and $7 for HIFF Ohana members. They can be purchased either at the theater's box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by phone at 550-8457 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or online at www.hiff.org (online purchases will be charged a handling fee of 50 cents per ticket). All advance tickets orders can be picked up at will-call located in the Hawaii Theatre box office.

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