Hawaii International Film Festival 2003

The 23rd Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) took place from October 30 to November 9, 2003. As I did last year, I joined the HIFF Ohana in order to get a “Flash Pass” to get into all of the films. It's the right way to go if you plan to see a lot of movies, because it gets you priority seating and the ability to get into officially sold out films without planning far in advance. It also helps support HIFF.

One of the advantages of this festival is that Roger Ebert is a regular attendee, but this year he was unable to attend for medical reasons. He was missed, although he did still select one film to be included in the festival.

All of the films I saw were at the Dole Cannery 18, run by Signature Theatres. This is a nice theater, with stadium seating and high back seats, THX sound, validated parking, and no tiny theaters. The only downside is that about the most real food available inside the theater is hot dogs, leaving you with a two block walk to Zippy's (Hawaii's answer to Denny's) if you want more selection. There is also a small food court in the Dole Cannery building across from the theater, but it's a dying mall, so there are only four choices and the hours hardly overlap normal film going hours at all.

Of the well over 100 feature-length films shown at the festival, I saw 19. They are listed below approximately in descending order of preference, with links to my reviews.

Any comments on this page should be addressed to Mike Weston at mike@misosoup.com.

  1. Tasogare Seibei (3.5 stars, 2002, English title: Twilight Samurai, The, seen 11/2/2003, 2:09, unrated, in Japanese with subtitles)
  2. Être et avoir (3.5 stars, 2002, English title: To Be and to Have, seen 11/4/2003, 1:44, unrated, in French with subtitles)
  3. Game of Their Lives, The (3 stars, 2002, seen 11/5/2003, 1:20, unrated, in English, Italian, and Korean with subtitles)
  4. Tokyo Godfathers (3 stars, 2003, seen 10/31/2003, 1:30, rated PG-13, in Japanese with subtitles)
  5. People I Know (3 stars, 2002, seen 11/1/2003, 1:40, rated R)
  6. Nói albinói (3 stars, 2003, English title: Noi the Albino, seen 11/6/2003, 1:35, unrated, in Icelandic with subtitles)
  7. Cooler, The (3 stars, 2003, seen 11/6/2003, 1:41, rated R)
  8. Traces of a Dragon: Jackie Chan & His Lost Family (3 stars, 2003, seen 11/2/2003, 1:36, unrated, in Mandarin and Cantonese with subtitles)
  9. Five Years (3 stars, 2002, seen 10/31/2003, 1:29, unrated)
  10. Ai nu (3 stars, 1972, English title: Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, seen 11/6/2003, 1:30, unrated, in Mandarin with subtitles)
  11. Molly & Mobarak (3 stars, 2003, seen 11/2/2003, 1:25, unrated)
  12. Uzak (2.5 stars, 2002, English title: Distant, seen 11/1/2003, 1:49, unrated, in Turkish with subtitles)
  13. Go Further (2.5 stars, 2003, seen 10/31/2003, 1:20, unrated)
  14. Da zui xia (2.5 stars, 1966, English title: Come Drink with Me, seen 11/1/2003, 1:35, unrated, in Mandarin with subtitles)
  15. Burning Dreams (2.5 stars, 2003, seen 11/7/2003, 1:15, unrated, in Mandarin with subtitles)
  16. Big Durian, The (2.5 stars, 2003, seen 11/4/2003, 1:15, unrated, in English, Malay, and Cantonese with subtitles)
  17. 2LDK (2 stars, 2002, seen 11/3/2003, 1:10, unrated, in Japanese with subtitles)
  18. All Tomorrow's Parties (1.5 stars, 2003, seen 11/5/2003, 1:36, unrated, in Korean and Mandarin with subtitles)
  19. Sharasojyu (1.5 stars, 2003, English title: Shara, seen 11/1/2003, 1:40, unrated, in Japanese with subtitles)

External filmography links courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.

Back to film page

Copyright © 2001-2004 by Michael S. Weston. All rights reserved.