HIFF road warrior Le gives his take on Cannes
By Dave Dondoneau
There can't be many better jobs than the one Anderson Le has with the Hawaii International Film Festival.
The 30th annual HIFF isn't until Oct. 14-24, but as its program director, Le was in France recently screening movies at the Cannes Film Festival. Among the flicks he was able to get a first look at were "Robin Hood" and "Wall Street:Money Never Sleeps." Cannes is one of six or seven festivals Le will attend before this year's fall showcase for HIFF, and when he's not on the road (about 120 days a year), he's either at his home in Los Angeles or here, and there's always a DVD screener nearby.
"I watch about 600 films a year," Le said. "I used to travel a lot more, but I've severely reduced that because of a smaller budget and because I'm getting older. It used to be fun to live out of a suitcase and be in Europe for over a month-and-a-half in January and February, but not anymore."
Still, it's not a job Le plans on leaving anytime soon, and that's a good thing for HIFF goers who have enjoyed the string of hits that have premiered here before hitting wide release.
This year's Cannes, Le said, was lighter than usual on Hollywood glamour. His favorite movie:"Carancho," from Argentina. He also hopes HIFF can bring in "The Housemaid" from South Korea and the latest Mike Leigh film, "Another Year," which stars Jim Broadbent. Stephen Frears' "Tamara Drewe," based on the graphic novel, also grabbed his attention.
Said Le: "I did see some stinkers, but overall, it was a lucrative trip. I hope to get a bunch of great titles for our 30th anniversary."
Waipahu's Rebel Souljahz, last year's Na Hoku Hanohano award winner for best reggae album, is back on O'ahu after a month-long tour that started in Las Vegas and California and ended with nine concerts in New Zealand with Katchafire. Of their 19 shows, 10 sold out.
Six University of Hawai'i students from the Academy for Creative Media are heading to the Shanghai International Film Festival June 12-20 to show their own films. The films and the students: "Born in Hawaii," by Paulo Kobayashi, "New Day," by Jeremy Johnson, "Guitar Hero," by Marshal Wu, "Scrambled Eggs," by Jamie Peak, "Town vs. Country," by Pablo Paz, and "Yuen's Grocery, Nanakuli" by Kaaina Paikai and Gloria Pan.
Movie theaters are pricing themselves out of the casual date scene with 3-D technology. $14.75 to see "Shrek" and $17 for 3-D IMAX? Blech.