Truth from Dare: HIFF and Halloween
BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
The 32nd Hawaii International Film Festival wrapped up at the Regal Dole Cannery Theaters last weekend. The program felt somewhat like a pop-up film festival, as the multiplex continued to show mainstream flicks alongside the international works that don’t traditionally make it to the big screen in the United States.
One of the films I had to check out was the San Diego-based “I Am Not A Hipster.” The first thing I was surprised about was the lack of a substantial audience. Despite the fact that the movie garnered tons of praise at the Sundance Film Festival, the theater was practically empty. Perhaps hipsters are too cool to go to film festivals these days, I thought. Granted, the film isn’t an international one, so maybe it wasn’t as pressing to see as the foreign ones were, but I still expected more than the few attendees sprinkled throughout the theater.
The film follows a young musician (Dominic Bogart) navigating the San Diego indie-music scene. Weighing on the talented hipster is personal tragedy and addiction coupled with the struggle to hold on to his ideals and still remain relevant in a world where the line between art and mainstream consumerism is increasingly blurring.
Overall, the movie was well made and the performances were noteworthy for a group of newcomers. Furthermore the message of the movie is extremely poignant and will continue to grow in relevance as those that create ‘art’ gain access to more means to reach the masses.
In addition to catching some great films, the festival also provides an outlet for some great parties. One such occasion was the EuroCinema Awards Gala on Friday at the Moana Surfrider Hotel. Each year, the production gets bigger and bigger, allowing for a touch of Hollywood glamour here in Honolulu. From the sprawling red carpet that blankets the hotel entrance to the celebrities in attendance, this event has quickly become one of the hottest tickets in town.
The highlight of the evening was when Hollywood director Bryan Singer (“X-Men,” “Superman Returns,” “Valkyrie,” etc.) presented Richard Chamberlain with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Having such accomplished movie men in the audience is testimony to the level this event has been elevated to. I’m definitely looking forward to what the organizers have in store for next year.
Now that the film festival and its accompanying shindigs have passed, I finally can focus on all the fun to be had in the week to come. With Halloween on deck, there’s so much going on.
I’m starting off tomorrow, Oct. 25, at M Nightclub. The hotspot launched a Thursday night party called “Identity” a few weeks ago. I still haven’t gotten around to making an appearance there, but this week they have Los Angeles’ DJ Tamara Sky. She makes several appearances in Honolulu each year, but I’m always down for an out-of-town DJ playing locally.
Friday, Oct. 26, is the annual GIFT Foundation party at the Modern Honolulu. Aside from being a great party, I’m a fan of this event because it also serves as a fundraiser for great causes. The Foundation has given away more than $1 million dollars to various causes in its twelve year history. This year, the party will give 100 percent of the profits to the Hawaii Autism Foundation and the Homeless Outreach and Medial Education project, or H.O.M.E.
Saturday, Oct. 28, marks the return of the Hallowbaloo Music and Arts Festival in Chinatown. More than 10,000 party people take to the streets to celebrate Halloween during this annual festival on Nuuanu Ave. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. and consists of four stages with more than 40 bands and DJs. The afterparty continues with 10 of downtown’s most popular hotspots opening their doors. For a $10 cover, you’ll get in to all your favorite party places.
If you’re not a fan of crowds, stay far away from this one. But if you’re looking to rage, this will be the place to be.
I usually think summer is the season of being on the go (in a social sense), but as you can see, after a brief breather in September, things are in full swing again. I guess it could be worse. We could be stuck in a place where the highlight of fall is a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the town drive-in.
When he’s not out and about at the hottest parties and other events in Honolulu, Derin “Dare” Derego works as an account executive at a local radio station group. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.