Hawaii International Film Festival 2013: My Schedule

The other day, a friend asked me if I was going to HIFF. I wish. I’ve been to a few film fests around the country but I think Hawaii International Film Festival is the best. And after looking over this year’s excellent schedule and its survey of arty, indie, genre, and dramatic flicks from the around the world (especially Asia), I really miss interviewing filmmakers and reviewing movies for Giant Robot mag. Too bad I can’t justify buying all those movies anymore–let alone carve out time to watch them. Man, I could go for some hurricane popcorn, too.

That being said, you don’t have to be a journalist or even an otaku to enjoy or appreciate HIFF. I would hop on a plane to Honolulu this afternoon if I could, and my schedule might look something like the following. Some arty stuff, some intellectual stuff, and definitely a lot of  junk. This is for enjoyment and not to impress anyone. (If you see one and it’s a stinker, sorry! Ditto if I scribbled down an incorrect time or date.) Of course there are plenty of slots to watch random movies and go to Waiola, Leonard’s, Jimbo, Don Quijote, the Human Imagination… Mornings are reserved for the beach.

Enjoy, and let’s definitely make plans to meet at HIFF next year!


Thursday, October 10, 6:00
The Wind Rises (Japan, 2013) – The festival’s opening movie may be the last for the much-loved animated filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.

Friday, October 11, 5:30
A River Changes Course (Cambodia/USA, 2013) – Gorgeous, powerful documentary about the effects of modernization on Cambodia.

Friday, October 11, 9:00
Escape From Tomorrow (USA, 2013) – The already infamous experimental thriller filmed on the sly in Disneyland and Disney World.

Saturday, October 12, 6:30
Unbeatable (China, 2013) – Stool Pigeon‘s director Dante Lam and actor Nick Cheung team up once again for this underdog/MMA flick.

Saturday, October 12, 9:45
Pig Death Machine (USA, 2013) – If you can only see one movie, make it Jon Moritisugu and Amy Davis’s newest eyeball-melting, brain-frying experimental flick that captures the surreal beauty and boredom of Santa Fe, NM like nothing else. Not only is Jon and Amy’s band Low on High on the killer soundtrack but so is Dirty Beaches (above). And the people mentioned above have Hawaiian pedigrees, brah!

Sunday, October 13, 3:00
One Night Surprise (China, 2013) – Screwball comedy/chick flick directed by Eva Jin starring Fan Bingbing.

Sunday, October 13, 8:00
Harlock: Space Pirate (Japan, 2013) – An eye-popping 3-D update of anime’s favorite space pirate.

Monday, October 14, 6:15
A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story (Japan, 2013) – Expect mouth-watering training scenes.

Monday, October 14, 9:00
Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo (Japan, 2012) – The update of arguably anime’s greatest mecha saga/religious parable/mind fuck.

Tuesday, October 15, 3:00
A Touch of Sin (China, 2013) – Jia Zhangke’s collection of shorts is inspired by by the stylized martial arts flicks of King Hu but are thematically as raw as Kim Ki-duk.

Tuesday, October 15, 8:00
King Kong (USA, 1933) – A chance to see Merian C. Cooper’s genre-defining classic on the big screen.

Wednesday, October 16 6:00
American Dreams in China (China, 2013) – Award-winning director Peter Chan and Wong Kar-Wai collaborator Christopher Doyle reunite for this intriguing and smart-looking movie.

Wednesday, October 6, 9:30
Intruders (South Korea, 2013) – A screenwriter checks into a bed-and-breakfast for peace and quiet but finds himself surrounded by obnoxious guests.

Thursday, October 17, 12:45
Me and You (Italy, 2013) – Seeing a coming-of-age movie by Bernardo Bertolucci seems like a good thing to do at a film festival.

Thursday, October 17 3:45
See You Tomorrow, Everyone (Japan, 2012) – Artful and awkward indie flick with a misfit man-child.

Friday, October 18, 5:00
Sake-Bomb (Japan/USA, 2013) – Indie road movie pitting an Asian American with his Japanese-American cousin, both on the rebound.

Friday, October 18, 7:15
So Young (China, 2013) – Directorial debut/hit movie by actress Zhao Wei adapting a popular novel about a small-town girl coming to grips in the big city, Chinese style.

Saturday, October 19, 7:30
How To Use Guys With Secret Tips (South Korea, 2012) – Tribute to the ’80s with era-appropriate music, fashion, and battling of the sexes.

Saturday, October 19, 9:30
Hentai Kamen: Forbidden Superhero (Japan, 2013) – The hero is masked and also perverted, with ass-crack powers and a “flying bondage technique.”

Sunday, October 20, 6:30
50 First Dates (USA, 2004) – Drew Barrymore + Adam Sandler + Hawaii = Impossible not to like.