For this year’s Honolulu International Film Festival, I watched three films, though I wanted to watch more. I missed some of the movies that I wanted to watch since I was busy the first few days, therefore I chose the ones that looked most interesting to me from the remaining days.
I was given a chance to get a press pass last year in exchange of writing movie reviews. Though I was very interested, the timing of it couldn’t be worse and I couldn’t do it since I had a busy schedule at that time. When the Professor had announced our assignment for HIFF, I was glad and excited that I was able to finally able to attend this year.
I wanted to watch international movies since it is an international film festival, afterall. Coincidentally, all three movies that I chose turned out to be Japanese and it was very entertaining for me being fluent in that language.
I chose to watch Blank 13, Mirai of the Future, and Wish You Were Here. One of the main character in Blank 13, Lily Franky, is a famous actor therefore I chose this to watch him in it. Mirai was my other choice because the animator and producer of this film, Mamoru Hosoda, is one of my favorite. All the work he’s done so far has been extremely impressive and I thought that this new movie will not disappoint as well. Lastly, I chose Wish You Were Here simply because the storyline grabbed my attention and thought it’s be interesting to watch a Japanese and Chinese co-produced film for the first time.
My favorite was Wish You Were Here since it was not only beautiful but mind blowing. They did an amazing job making it effortless and flowing without overdoing anything. I’ve recommended the movie to friends and families to watch because it was very unlike any commercialized movie (which I hate) and was very unique in its own way. This movie made my experience at the festival very worthwhile and I was thankful that I got this opportunity to not only attend HIFF but to be able to discover this movie.
On the other hand, Blank 13 and Mirai of the Future weren’t bad or good. It simply didn’t meet my expectations and rather caused disappointment, but it wasn’t a horrible experience for me either. I do wish that both of them were more meaningful so that I could’ve had some sort of empathy for the story or the characters. To me, it looked like they were trying too hard though their contexts were poor. One thing that was good about Blank 13 was that there was an interview at the end of the movie of the producer since it was his debut film. Although I wasn’t entirely happy with his work, I was still excited to witness it since I’ve never seen anything like that before.
I will definitely be attending HIFF next year as well. The film festival made me realize that it would be amazing to get a job that is related to something like this since I am passionate about movies. I am aware that it is competitive and a hard job to get. But I think it’s good to have some sort of goal since I’m graduating soon and have absolutely no idea what to do next.
To anyone interested in HIFF, please go and check it out. Watch a movie that you’re maybe unfamiliar with the culture, language, or genre. You might feel hesitant at first but it’ll be fun and you’ll learn something new.