Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF)

My first film festival!  I was so excited!  I had seen the info for it and thought I'd love to go...but it wasn't till the day before it started that I decided, if I want to go, I'm going!  There were so many movies I would have loved to see.  But seeing as though it wasn't free, I figured seeing 2 or 3 would be good.  I handed a list off to Jas of a bunch of them that I was interested in.   She decided she wasn't really in the mood for reading subtitles so we settled on three movies that were already in English.  I literally loved all three.  Everyday they just got better.

Day 1- Liberal Arts
Written, directed, and starring Josh Radnor of the hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother".  The film is about a 35 year old guy, Jesse,  completely unmotivated by his job, who returns to his alma mater to speak at his favorite professor's retirement dinner, and ends up falling for  a sophomore "mature for her age" type.  The sophomore is played by Elizabeth Olsen.  I can only imagine how it feels to grow up the younger sister of the Olsen twins, but given enough time I think she'll definitely outdo the careers of her older sisters.  She is also in the the second movie we saw, and I believe I am officially a fan.  Also in the film was Zac Efron, in the weirdest and yet most awesome role I have yet to see him in.  He played the role of Nat, a nature loving, hippy kind of guy that speaks in lots of metaphors, and ends up helping Jesse much more than he ever thought he would.

Day 2- Peace, Love & Misunderstanding
This film center around a family where the father/husband has just asked the mother/wife, Diane, for a divorce. Devastated, she decides to pick up and leave with her son and daughter (played by Elizabeth Olsen) to Woodstock to visit her mother who she hasn't seen or talked to for twenty years.  Jane Fonda plays the mother/grandmother, Grace, and let's be honest, how can you not love Jane Fonda!  If you looked up "free spirit" in the dictionary, Grace's picture would be next to it.  She lives in a house, with chickens running amok, and weed plants growing in her basement.  She entertains countless men, and sometimes paints them while they pose nude.  Diane is her straight-laced lawyer of a daughter, who eventually comes to truly find herself, and not the person she had become in her marriage.  It's a story of family, and the things that bring us together, and the things that tear us apart.  But don't misunderstand, it's not a boring, oh I've seen that before kind of film...there is a ton of "what the hell" moments, and some great acting to boot.

Day 3- Your Sister's Sister
I'm a fan of Emily Blunt, and so her being in this film made it a must see!  The film has a little of every emotion...grief, anger, depression, love, romance, warmth, and sibling rivalry.  It centers around best friends Jack and Iris (Blunt).  Iris happens to be Jack's dead brothers ex-girlfriend.  His brother, Tom, died a year ago and Jack is still very much struggling over it.  After he makes a scene at a get together honoring is brother, on the anniversary of his death, Iris tells him she is sending him away.  Her plan is to send him to her family cabin so that he can be alone, and find comfort and peace in the solitude of it.  He begs her to come too.  When Jack arrives he find Hannah, Iris's older sister, is already at the cabin, seeking to find her own peace after a difficult break-up with a girlfriend of 7 years.  After a night of drinking, and sharing, Jack and Hannah end up in bed together.  The next morning Iris arrives at the cabin as a surprise, to be there for her best friend...who she secretly is in love with.  The rest of the film is chock-full of "holy shit" moments.  You begin to simultaneously hate, and love Hannah.  And in the end, you are left with one of the oddest scenes imaginable.  

I greatly enjoyed my first film festival.  Every time I thought the next movie couldn't be any better, it was.  And, Jas and I happily learned that the food at the movie theater here, is so much better than home.  They have Pina Colada icees!  We were in heaven.  I will definitely be there for the fall festival!

I leave you with a pic of one of the movies I'm looking forward to seeing soon.  I think I mentioned before that I'm a HUGE Johnny Depp fan!

And the adventure continues...
Stay tuned...

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