Talking story with ‘Lava’s’ creators

"Lava's" writer and director James Ford Murphy (far right), with HIFF's Anderson Le, producer Andrea Warren and Napua Greig.

“Lava’s” writer and director James Ford Murphy (far right), with HIFF’s Anderson Le, producer Andrea Warren and Napua Greig.

Hawaii film fans were fortunate to get a sneak peek last week of the new Pixar-animated short film “Lava,” at the Hawaii International Film Festival. The Hawaii-centric film, about a volcano looking for love, is only seven minutes. But after the screening, the theme song — sung by Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig — stuck with me. I found myself singing it all the time; it’s just so catchy and sweet. Film fans will get their chance to fall in “lava” with “Lava” when it’s released in theaters nationwide on June 19, 2015 with the new Pixar film, “Inside Out.”

I had an opportunity to talk story with the film’s writer and director James Ford Murphy, who also played ukulele on the film, and producer Andrea Warren about “Lava” and their love for Hawaii.

How did you come up with the story about volcanoes falling in love?
JM: I wanted to do a story about something that really touched me emotionally. When my wife and I honeymooned here 25 years ago, I was just floored by all the beauty and the people, and I’ve always been fascinated with Hawaii since. Then about 15 years ago, I heard Israel Kamakawiwo`ole’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow” and I was blown away. I’ll never forget how profound it was for me, and I wanted to write a song that made me feel the same way and combine it with my powerful feelings for Hawaii. And as I started to think about it, I drew a volcano with a face on it on a napkin and wrote, “I lava you,” beneath it, and that was how it started.

Are you a frequent visitor to Hawaii now?
JM: I visit about once a year. I’m so inspired by the unique culture, the tradition, the respect to guests.

AW: Yeah, the aloha spirit here is so overwhelming. My husband and I have been here with our kids about eight times or so now.

lava1What are your favorite things about Hawaii?
JM: I love poke. And I’m a real nerd for the geology of the islands. I want to learn about it, about how many volcanoes there are and how old they are.

Andrea, what was your role as a producer on the film?
JM: Just yell at people (jokingly).

AW: I read in a book that producing is managing the people and the process. Collaboration and trust are so important in our relationship. My ultimate goal is trying to get Jim’s vision up on the screen. You’re always running into unexpected outside forces that you have to juggle, so you have to remain flexible.

Can you describe Pixar’s success in one word?
JM: People. Pixar hires the best people and creates an amazing creative ecosystem.

Jim, as a former animator, do you have a favorite animator or animation style?
JM: I’d have to say my favorite is Chuck Jones. My favorite cartoon is “Feed the Kitty.” What I love about it is all the humor comes from the emotional moments from the two characters. You watch it and just love it so much because of the relationship they have. It’s all about character interaction.

 Napua Greig (left) and Kuana Torres Kahele (center) performed last Friday evening as part of the "Lava" screening at the IBM Building

Napua Greig (left) and Kuana Torres Kahele (center) performed last Friday evening as part of the “Lava” screening at the IBM Building

There are online theories about connections between the Pixar films. Any truth to them?
AW: I’m still trying to understand the theory. There’s definitely Easter eggs in the films, but that’s all about all there is to it. There’s no deliberate attempt to connect all the films.

How did you find the vocal talent for the film (Na Hoku Hanohano award winners Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig) and get them on board?
JM: When I pitched the idea for “Lava,” I sang the entire song myself to John Lasseter (Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer). I told him that I intended to have the song sung by traditional Hawaiian singers, and he just ate it up. So I listened to Hawaiian music for the next year. Then we attended the Na Hoku Hanohano awards to meet all the talented musicians.

AW: It wasn’t a Hawaiian vacation. We literally spent all day at the convention center during the music festival.

JM: What I was looking for were voices that you’d believe would come from the Earth – strong and sweet. I needed that contrast, kind of like volcanoes, which are incredibly destructive, but so beautiful at the same time. Kuana is such a big guy with such a sweet voice, and Napua’s voice has so much gravitas that you just buy her as the character.

AW: They’re both so charming and delightful to work with. We could not be happier with them and learned so much from the both of them.

JM: They have the genuineness and honesty that we are looking for in our characters.

What will you be taking away from this trip to Hawaii?
JM: A sense of satisfaction and appreciation. The screenings were extremely rewarding.

AW: You work on a Pixar project for so long with the same people, so no one’s laughing at the jokes anymore. Now you get a fresh perspective from a new audience, and it’s so invigorating.

JM: I hope this exposes the Hawaii we fell in love with to the rest of the world.

HIFF Review Roundup

touseThe Hawaii International Film Festival kicks off Thursday, Oct. 30 and runs through Nov. 9 on Oahu and from Nov. 13-16 on Hawaii Island and Kauai. Once again, there’s a great lineup of films in all genres. If you didn’t see my earlier post about my must-see films, here it is. For the full HIFF lineup, visit HIFF.org

 

We’ll be reviewing some of the HIFF movies and rounding them up below. Here’s what we have so far:

“We Are Brothers”

Country: South Korea

Showings:

  • Sunday, Nov. 9, 2:00 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Sunday, Nov. 16, 12:00 p.m. at Waimea Theater Kauai

I’m a huge fan of writer and director Jang Jin. He has a great knack for writing memorable characters and his screenplays are some of the smartest in the Korean film industry. Jang, whose previous films include “Welcome to Dongmakgol,” “Guns and Talks” and “Someone Special” delivers another gem with “We Are Brothers.”

Jang has always been able to effectively mix together genres in his films and he continues this success in this film. “We Are Brothers” will have you laughing out loud in one scene then pull at your heartstrings the next. I’ve come to expect witty dialogue from Jang but even so, I was still amazed at some of the brilliant lines of dialogue in this film. There were at least a few moments where I thought to myself, “Now that’s a good line.”

If you are not familiar with Jang Jin’s work, “We Are Brothers” is a great way to introduce yourself to one of Korea’s best filmmakers.

Verdict: I want to have a drink with Jang Jin.

“A Hard Day”

Country: South Korea

Showings:

  • Monday, Nov. 3, 6:00 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Friday, Nov. 7, 8:30 p.m. at Koko Marina
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 7:00 p.m. at Dole Cannery

You think you had a hard day? Dirty cop Ko Gun Soo’s entire department is under investigation by Internal Affairs and his mother has just passed away. While driving to her funeral, he strikes and kills a man on a desolate road. Thinking that there are no witnesses, he puts the body in his trunk, intending to dispose of it later. When it’s revealed later who the victim is and how he’s connected to the police force, it’s the beginning of a crazy and wild ride as Gun Soo continuously has to cover his butt.

“A Hard Day” was not the film I was expecting but in a very good way. I thought it was going to be a comedy but in fact, it is an intense thriller that shows how far a man can go to save himself. Each time Gun-Soo think he’s in the clear, another clue shows up that can incriminate him and director Kim Sung Hoon and star Lee Sun Gyoon do a terrific job of building up the suspense and surprises along the way.

The Korean title actually translates to “going all the way” and that phrase is a perfect description of this film in terms of how far it will go to effectively tell its story. There are a few plot points that conveniently serve the storyline but overall, “A Hard Day” is a fun and thrilling ride.

Verdict: I’d go all the way again

“Haemoo”

Country: South Korea

Showings:

  • Monday, Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m. at Dole Cannery

The film’s trailer and title (“haemoo” translates to “sea fog”) led me to believe that it would be a natural disaster film but “Haemoo” is much deeper than that. In fact, the story of a crew of fisherman caught in a fog while trafficking illegal Korean immigrants from China is so crazy and intense that it’s almost impossible to believe that it’s based on true events.

Written and produced by Bong Joon Ho, the director of some of Korea’s modern classics including “Memories of Murder” and “The Host” as well as this year’s “Snowpiercer,” Haemoo” shares his knack for developing memorable characters. And while its script isn’t as sharp as Bong’s other films, “Haemoo” does succeed in building drama and intensity with each scene. The cast of stellar Korean character actors including the great Kim Yoon Seok bring the action to life and Shim Sung Bo, who wrote the brilliant screenplay for “Memories of Murder” shows that he also has a gift for direction in his first directorial effort.

“Haemoo” is South Korea’s entry in the Academy Award race for Best Foreign Film and it’s easy to see why. I just hope the rest of the world doesn’t think Koreans are crazier than we really are after seeing this film.

Verdict: Has strong sea legs

“Kabukicho Love Hotel”

Country: Japan

Showings:

  • Friday, Nov. 7, 7:45 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 1:15 p.m. at Dole Cannery

I usually like films about seemingly unrelated characters whose lives eventually intersect. It’s a great way to keep the viewer interested, especially for the modern ADD generation. “Kabukicho Love Hotel” uses this storytelling device effectively, with all of the action centered around a love hotel in the red light district of Kabukicho.

A love hotel is not a place where guests stay too long. Its purpose is to provide a nice and comfortable room for lovers to meet, and “Kabukicho Love Hotel” reveals the types of characters who visit and work in such establishments. Toru is the manager of the love hotel and in the course of a day, the hotel is home to a porn shoot with a surprising star; a prostitute working her last day before moving back to Korea; a man trying to con a young runaway teenager into becoming a prostitute; a pair of detectives having an affair and a cleaning lady on the run from a crime she committed 15 years ago.

It is easy to scorn those who visit love hotels, but the film’s greatest accomplishment is revealing that while they may not be as morally righteous as others, they are real people with genuine problems. Take a peek into this little known world and enjoy the show.

Verdict: Will keep you aroused

“Uzumasa Limelight”

Country: Japan

Showings:

  • Friday, Oct. 31, 6 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, 3:45 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 1 p.m. at Koko Marina

As a kid I watched a lot of the Japanese samurai TV drama “Abarenbo Shogun,” and of course the highlight of each show was watching the main character slicing away at the bad guys with his samurai sword. I gave little thought to the men he was killing, but after watching “Uzumasa Limelight,” I now realize that there was an art to dying onscreen.

Seizou Fukumoto stars as Kamiyama, a 70-year-old actor who’s made a career of getting killed off in samurai dramas. He is a highly respected actor, yet remains humble and modest. When his production company decides to stop filming samurai dramas, he’s left with a huge void in his life until he’s asked by a young female actress to train her to become a kirare-yaku, an extra who dies onscreen.

Fukumoto, a real-life kirare-yaku, gives a fantastic, yet quiet and subtle, performance as Kamiyama. He’s a man of few words but a simple smile or look from his deep set eyes can say so much. I was very impressed by his life-long dedication to his craft and how he always kept his emotions in check.

“Uzumasa Limelight” shines the light on a rarely thought about aspect of samurai dramas, and I am glad that I was able to see this film to appreciate them even more.

Verdict: Banzai!

“Yasmine”

Country: Brunei

Showings:

  • Saturday, Nov. 1, 8:30 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Sunday, Nov. 2, 2:15 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 3:00 p.m. at Koko Marina

I’m always in the mood for a martial arts flick, so I was pretty excited to watch “Yasmine,” which I thought would focus on the Southeast Asian martial art of Silat. Instead, “Yasmine” turned out to be a typical schoolgirl drama with boy crushes, resentment of the pretty girl, and yes, even the overbearing parent who doesn’t seem to understand their children. I’d never claim that the martial arts film genre was a deep one, but “Yasmine” never even attempts to dip its toes into the water.

The lead character is highly unlikable and selfish and not the underdog that audiences like to root for. And as for showcasing the art of silat, none of the masters featured in the film teach a single thing about the martial art. They are merely there as plot devices so that Yasmine can find her way to the silat championship, yet neither she nor the viewer has learned a thing about the art.

The action scenes are halfway decent, although highly choreographed and lacking natural rhythm and flow, but they are not enough to save this film.

Verdict: Opportunity wasted

“9-Man”

Country: USA

Showings:

  • Saturday, Nov. 1, 5:30 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Wednesday, Nov. 5, 5:45 p.m. at Dole Cannery

As a recreational volleyball player, I was really looking forward to watching “9-Man,” a documentary about a streetball game similar to volleyball played predominantly by Chinese men in the U.S. Like many other documentaries, “9-Man” introduces us to a handful of people passionate about the sport including players, coaches and even founders. The main storyline of the film leads up to the annual Labor Day championship tournament, but unfortunately there’s no true arc to any of the people featured. Their interviews are sprinkled in here and there, but never really go anywhere, and sometimes totally forgotten (so what happened to that half-Chinese kid from Canada?).

I did enjoy learning about the game and its history as I had never previously heard of it, and the racial politics regarding who’s allowed to play was also quite fascinating as players debated over how Chinese or Asian players were (an Indian player is not allowed to play, but black players who claim to have Chinese great grandmothers can). I also wish there had been more practice and game footage; I would have liked to have seen more on the sport’s strategy and gameplay. There is also an odd amount of time dedicated to Olympian volleyball player and local boy Kevin Wong, as if his participation in the sport validated its existence. Funny that after all the time interviewing him and talking about him, there’s no actual game footage of him doing anything significant.

Verdict: Bump, set, dink

“My Brilliant Life”

Country: South Korea

Showings:

  • Thursday, Oct. 30, 8:30 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Saturday, Nov. 1, 12:00 p.m. at Dole Cannery
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 8:30 p.m. at Koko Marina

It wouldn’t be HIFF without a Korean tear jerker.

This year’s entry for the Korean Kleenex movie, “My Brilliant Life,” stars Gang Dong Won and Song Hye Kyo as the perfectly photogenic married couple Dae-Su and Mira, who are the young parents of a teenage boy Areum. Areum is 17, but looks 80 due to a rare genetic condition called progeria that produces rapid aging in children. While they are more known for their looks, Gang and Song are also good actors but the film’s plot doesn’t really give them much to do. Despite their financial shortcomings, they are portrayed as practically perfect parents. Areum’s story is also pretty straight forward. “My Brilliant Life” is one of the most predictable, what-you-see-is-what-you-get films I’ve ever seen, but I’m sure it’s bound to squeeze out a tear or two anyway.

Verdict: Empty tears

Movies I Miss: Gangster films

infernalaffairsToday’s Hollywood is all about franchise films, comic book heroes, sequels and reboots. They’re fun to watch, but I miss the variety of films that I grew up watching. “Movies I Miss” will be blog series where I reminisce about the film genres that Hollywood has apparently forgotten.

Gangster films

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to watch gangster films.

The gangster world is so elusive to most people that it’s so easy to get fascinated whenever it’s romanticized in films. It’s a world where those who stress loyalty above all are the quickest to betray. It’s where low lifes live the high life and where the very ruthlessness that takes you to the top will ultimately be your downfall. It’s the flip side of the American dream.

So why doesn’t Hollywood make these movies anymore? You think people aren’t interested in them? Fuggedaboutit. It’s true that many mob movies share the same themes and perhaps the common thinking is that there are no more stories to tell. Maybe mob movies just can’t survive when going to the mattresses against blockbuster genres like comic book movies. But it’s all about how creative you can get in telling the stories. Unfortunately, studios appear to have given up trying with just a few gangster flicks such as “Gangster Squad” and “American Gangster” hitting the screens in recent years.

Some of the most memorable films in history are mob films, yet when it comes to creating more of these classics, Hollywood seems to be sleeping with the fishes. But I say there’s still an audience for these films, and I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.

Here are my Top 5 gangster films:

#5 – “Donnie Brasco” (1997)

Whenever I see Johnny Depp and Al Pacino hamming it up with yet another flamboyant, over-the-top performance, I always think about “Donnie Brasco,” a powerful look into the mob lifestyle through the eyes of an undercover FBI agent. Depp and Pacino both deliver subtle, yet powerful, performances that rank among the best in both of their careers.

#4 – “Infernal Affairs” (2002)

You think Oscar-winning “The Departed” is great? Go watch “Infernal Affairs,” the Hong Kong gangster flick it’s based on. With an all-star cast, including Andy Lau, Tony Leung and Anthony Wong, this film tops its American counterpart on all levels and that’s saying a lot.

#3 – “The Godfather” series (1972, 1974, 1990)

You could spend all day quoting these classic films. Director Francis Ford Coppola’s trilogy romanticizes the gangster life like no other, and no true film fan can ignore the immeasurable influence of these films. And who can forget the perfection of this scene from Part I?

#2 – “Scarface” (1983)

There’s so much love for this film because Tony Montana represents the American dream. Well, a really illegal version of it anyway. “Scarface” is the ultimate cautionary tale, yet I’m on board with the hip-hop community who made Tony Montana their idol for the last few decades. Never mind his grisly demise. We all remember Tony Montana for how he lived. Because the only thing in this world that gives orders… is balls. You got that?

#1 – “Goodfellas” (1990)

Director Martin Scorsese is the best when it comes to making gangster movies. He’s given audiences classic films such as “Casino,” “Mean Streets” and “The Departed,” but “Goodfellas” is his best film by far. Based on the true life of gangster Henry Hill, “Goodfellas” takes the audience on a tour of gangster life through Henry’s eyes and ears. The film is just flawless and demands repeat viewings just to appreciate the storytelling and craft. One of the best films ever.

My must-see TV this fall

The Fall TV season is (almost) in full swing, and there are many new shows hoping to draw your prime-time viewership. Here are reviews of the series and season premieres I’m planning to schedule some sit-on-my-butt-while-I-snack-and-drink time for.

Mondays

gotham“Gotham” FOX 7 p.m.

“Gotham” takes place in the Batman universe and is FOX’s best hope for a much-needed prime-time hit. The only problem is, there’s no Batman. Bruce Wayne is still a child in “Gotham.” Instead, the show focuses on a young Jim Gordon and a seedy underworld of characters who will later become part of Batman’s rogues’s gallery. In the pilot, the audience is introduced to a young Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Penguin and Riddler. However, FOX is so desperate to remind you that the show is tied to the Batman lore that the introductions were hammer-you-over-the-head obvious.

I think viewers would have had more fun with the episode had it taken a subtler approach. Just hint at who these characters are; don’t shout them out. Still, I like the noirish atmosphere and will keep watching for now. Just take it easy on all the Batman stuff.

“The Big Bang Theory” CBS 7 p.m.

I hate Penny’s new hair. That is all.

Tuesdays

flash“The Flash” The CW 7 p.m.

I actually waited to write this Fall TV preview so I could review “The Flash,” which premiered this week, and I’m glad I did. This was one of the most enjoyable premieres I’ve seen in a while. It has a light, humorous tone with some pretty cool special effects, and so far, all the actors are likable. I’m not that familiar with the Flash comic book universe, so I eagerly look forward to learning about the cast of characters and villains this season.

“Selfie” ABC 7 p.m.

It’s pretty rare to see an Asian-American lead on a TV show, so of course I had to check this one out. A modern-day remake of the classic tale “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady,” John Cho plays Henry Higgs, a marketing manager who takes on the task of rebranding Eliza (Karen Gillan), a woman so obsessed with social media and how many “likes” she can get that she fails at anyone liking her in real life. Sound familiar to anyone? There’s good chemistry between the two leads and even a little romantic touch. I’ll be tuning in.

Wednesdays

goldbergs“The Goldbergs” ABC 7:30 p.m.

Now in its second season, “The Goldbergs” remains one of my favorite TV shows. It’s set during the ’80s (the best decade EVER), but it’s more than about just making pop culture references from that time. It’s more of a family show filled with fully flushed out characters, the most memorable being the overbearing mother Beverly, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey. Only two episodes in, Season 2 has already centered around mix tapes, roller skating and Ron Hextall’s famous hockey goal. This is must-watch TV.

“Black-ish” ABC 8:30 p.m.

“Black-ish” centers on a middle class black family so acclimated to white suburbia that they’ve forgotten how to be black. I’m really not sure who this show is for. The jokes primarily come from black people trying to act more “black,” but I don’t feel black audiences will find it funny, and it appears to merely promote the stereotypes white people already have of black people. The irony is that there’s a scene in the pilot where a black man is promoted to join an all-white management team, only to find out he’s the new VP of the new “urban” department. I feel like that’s exactly what went down in the ABC executive suite when they greenlit this show. I’ll pass.

Thursdays

“The Biggest Loser” NBC 7 p.m.

Another season of fatties getting fit. Someday, I hope to become one myself. Until then, I’ll just root for them on TV as I munch on some chips.

atoz“A to Z” NBC 8:30 p.m.

This is the story of how (A)ndrew met (Z)elda and how they fell in love. Aw, isn’t that sweet? The fact is, “A to Z” is a very saccharine romantic comedy, but I like it. The two leads are charismatic and cute and have good chemistry. This show is perfect for all of those who believe in destiny, love and serendipity. Clutch on to your significant others (or the nearest throw pillow) and prepare to say things like “Aww…” for 30 minutes every week.

Fridays 

tar“The Amazing Race” CBS 7 p.m.

Now in its 25th season, “The Amazing Race” remains one of my favorite TV shows. Eleven teams of two race around the world for a $1 million prize. This season is especially interesting due to the high number of minority racers. I was rooting for Dennis and Isabelle (the Cambodian/Vietnamese couple), but they’ve already been eliminated, so now I’ll be cheering on the un-ambiguously gay duo of Tim and Te Jay.

Saturdays and Sundays

Spend time with your families and friends. Stay off the boob tube. Or just watch football all day. Either works.

HIFF 2014: The lineup

59797Fall is right around the corner, and for me, that means football, festivities and best of all, films. I always look forward to the Hawaii International Film Festival, and once again, HIFF, which runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9 on Oahu and Nov. 13-16 on Hawaii Island and Kauai, has a great lineup. Here are the movies on my list to catch. For the full HIFF lineup, visit HIFF.org

Check out the big nights

HIFF always saves the best films for the big nights, and I’m especially interested in this year’s opening night film, “The Vancouver Asahi” and the centerpiece film, “The Imitation Game,” both which take place during World War II. “The Vancouver Asahi” is a true story about a Japanese immigrant baseball team playing in Vancouver, who have to deal with the fallout from Pearl Harbor. “The Imitation Game” is also based on a true story, centering on World War II hero Alan Turing, who helped the Allies win the war with his code-breaking skills. This one could be a major player when it comes to award season.

“The Vancouver Asahi”
Thursday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m., Consolidated Ward (Buy tickets)

“The Imitation Game”
Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)
Sunday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)

Look to the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan always fields a strong variety of films at HIFF, and this year’s selection appears especially intriguing. Along with “The Vancouver Asashi,” I’m eager to catch, “Little Forest: Summer & Autumn” and “Samurai Pirates.” “Little Forest: Summer & Autumn” looks like it will be another addition to a strong year for foodie films, while “Samurai Pirates” is about a group of kids who embark on a treasure quest to save their town. Sound familiar? Yup, it looks exactly like a Japanese version of “The Goonies.” That’s good enough for me.

“Little Forest: Summer & Autumn”
Saturday, Nov. 1 at 2 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)
Sunday, Nov. 2 at 12:30 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)

“Samurai Pirates”
Sunday, Nov. 9 at 12 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)

Korean films = Kleenex

Korean films typically tug at heartstrings and make you reach for the tissues. Koreans are known for their passion, and it’s well on display in their films. “My Brilliant Life” delves into the life of two young parents of a boy with a rare disease that makes him age prematurely. Starring popular pretty people Kang Dong Won and Song Hye Gyo, make sure to get your tickets to this one early. I’m a huge fan of filmmaker Jang Jin, so I’m also looking forward to “We Are Brothers,” which looks like it features his typical quirky combination of humor and heart.

“My Brilliant Life”
Thursday, Oct. 30 at 8:30 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)
Saturday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)
Saturday, Nov. 8 at 8:30 p.m., Koko Marina (Buy tickets)

“We are Brothers”
Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 5:30 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)
Sunday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)

Get Real

I’m not the biggest fan of documentaries, but HIFF continually presents a strong documentary lineup that’s hard to resist. If you’re a fan of high school films like I am, then you’ll love, “Beyond Clueless,” which breaks down Hollywood’s history of coming-of-age films. Also, as a recreational volleyball player, I’m eager to watch the award-winning, “9-Man.”

“Beyond Clueless”
Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 5:45 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)

“9-Man”
Saturday, Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)
Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 5:45 p.m., Dole Cannery (Buy tickets)