The Adventures of Bob and Sam
This animated short concerns a sperm on a mission to find his—his? Yeah, I guess so—perfect mate, which then becomes a subject for discussion between a couple film critics. Sounds like a lot of ground to cover in just a couple minutes, but it’s a cartoon! Not Rated/2 min.
All Aboard the Crazy Train
From the team known for its big-wave documentary filmmaking at Peahi (Step Into Liquid, Riding Giants) comes this mind-boggling exploration of the lives of tow-in pioneers Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and others rip it up at Jaws during the 2004-2005 winter when the place just went off. Not Rated/35 min.
Donald Sutherland, Louise Fletcher, Joshua Jackson and Juliette Lewis star in this warm, humorous and bittersweet story of love that spans generations. Yup, sounds like a chick flick. Not Rated/109 min.
This documentary explores the considerable similarities between Jamaican Rastafarians and Jews—the iconic use of the Star of David, many references to Zion and even dreadlocks. Oy vey, mon! Not Rated/60 min.
Between Earth and Sky
Shot on location in Nepal, this documentary takes us to the Himalayas, where two guys—one Sherpa and one Western—get together to paraglide over the mountains. Sounds a bit chilly to me, but thrilling nonetheless. Not Rated/15 min.
The Big Empty
This “bittersweet tale of Alice, her vagina and the infinite nature of the tundra” won an Audience Award at Malibu and a Grand Jury Prize at the USA Film Festival. Just to warn you guys out there getting excited—the movie’s about as graphic as a Hallmark Hall of Fame picture—but it will pique your interest. Not Rated/21 min.
Champions on Wheels
This film features a lot of Maui wheelchair athletes. It takes a long, hard look at what the chair really means to those who must live in it, but it also shows how they live fulfilling lives and train as part of Team USA at the Athens Paralympics. Not Rated/75 min.
Los Angeles Times and The Nation columnist Robert Scheer co-produced this documentary on his friend Stanley Sheinbaum, a modern Renaissance Man who’s part Democratic Party fundraiser, limousine liberal, diplomat, economist, urban activist and spy. Not Rated/62 min.
This documentary explores the Black Bear Commune, which dates to 1968 and is still chock-full of hippies today. Variety’s Robert Koehler says the movie provides the “most honest appraisal yet on film” of the whole 1960s Age of Aquarius counter-culture thing. Groovy, man.ENot Rated/78 min.
Short film by directed by David Karlsberg. Go and be surprised. Not Rated/25 min.
The Do Over
A wedding caterer meets a mysterious stranger, then for some reason agrees to let him “do over” the last moments the caterer spent with a friend. I think this is one of those pictures you’re supposed to talk about with your pals after the closing credits start rolling. Not Rated/9 min.
Dave the guru goes to yoga classes for the reason most of us think of when we see guys in yoga classes—to bag chicks. He even spouts “spiritual truths” as a phony boddhisatva to do so. Then one day he decides to levitate and a truly enlightened being shows up. Spiritual hilarity ensues. Winner, Best Short Film, Boulder International Film Festival. Not Rated/22 min.
David Schwimmer—star of Friends, Band of Brothers and that one sit-com where Henry Winkler played his dad that lasted like two episodes—plays a divorced dad who’s having problems keeping his two young daughters in line. Also starring Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Susan Lynch, Dick Cavett—yes, THE Dick Cavett—and Steven Schirippa. Not Rated/89 min.
Charlie Chaplin plays a tramp—of course—and wanders into a mission to snag the collection box. But he’s smitten by Edna and returns the box. Reformed, he becomes a cop—of course. His first assignment: rough-and-tumble Easy Street, where he must deal with the formidable Eric the Tough, who I always thought was that Viking guy from like a thousand years ago. My mistake. Not Rated/19 min.
A gritty, yet exhilarating examination of the grass-roots organization AfroReggae, which is trying to use music and dance to stop the vicious, murderous drug abuse in the slums of Rio de Janiero. I’ve seen City of God—these guys need all the luck they can get. Not Rated/80 min.
A guy—not Homer Simpson—tries to find the perfect donut. The journey becomes an existential quandary in this Fellini spoof that asks questions like “What deep, dark secret must be hidden beneath a thick facade of frosting and sprinkles?” and “Can perfection be found in a pastry that was incomplete to begin with?” Not Rated/8 min.
The Floor Walker
After causing trouble on the sales floor, Charlie Chaplin goes to the office floor, where he wrecks havoc with the manager and a robber. The whole thing is a comedy of mistaken identities—much like Three’s Company—except it involves an escalator. Not Rated/29 min.
Very short movie about a dog that’s left home with the sole instruction that he not involve himself with the trash. Anyone who’s owned a dog knows what happens next. Not Rated/4 min.
This is the story of Timothy Treadwell, some guy who lacked so-called “normal” hobbies and instead spent nearly 15 years videotaping the summers he spent in Alaska hanging with the grizzly bears of Alaska. It must be good, because director Werner Herzog won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance this year for this thing. Not Rated/103 min.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Arnold, Bobby Cannavale and Laura Dern star in this movie exploring modern American relationships. It’s got Tom Arnold, so know it’s gonna be deep. Then again, it was written and directed by Don Roos, who helmed The Opposite of Sex. And it opened the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Rated R/130 min.
Award-winning documentarian Edgy Lee tells the story of Hawai’i’s first people. Along the way, he puts Hokule’a master navigator Nainoa Thompson and singer/songwriter Keali’i Reichel on the screen to give us insight into their plight and culture. Not Rated/60 min.
Howl’s Moving Castle
This is an anime film by Hayao Miyazaki, director of the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away. It’s already won three international Best Film awards. It involves a young woman who heads off to the land of wizards and witches—no, not our nation’s capital—in hopes of reversing some curse cast on her by the Witch of the Waste. Hey, I think I went out with her once. Anyway, it includes the voices of Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal, Christian Bale and Jean Simmons. Rated PG/119 min.
With a title like that, how could it go wrong? Oh wait, this is a serious documentary. Oh well—it shows how artists, writers, explorers and really men of all ages have spent the last 200 years lusting after the women of Polynesia. Using journals, early movie clips and interviews, Hula Girls shows us how the myth of the island woman has been both idealized and exploited. Not Rated/52 min.
Hustle and Flow
Terrence Howard plays a small-time hustler who dreams of making it in the music business. Obviously he’s just dreaming—it takes a lot more than a “small-time” hustler to get anywhere in the music business. Anyway, it won the Dramatic and Cinematography Audience Awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and it stars Ludacris, Isaac Hayes and Anthony Anderson. Rated R/114 min.
I Know I’m Not Alone
Michael Franti has built a career blending hip-hop, rock and reggae with politically inspired lyrics.ENow he’s traveling the world as a documentarian. Last year, he took his guitar and camera to Baghdad, Gaza and the West Bank to see how open conflict affects an already tense region. Not Rated/104 min.
Kirk Douglas plays Donald Baines, a legendary filmmaker magically transported to an empty theater to watch films showing how his actions affected his estranged son, played by writer-director-actor Michael Goorjian. The film won the Best Feature Award at the recent Inspiration Film Festival. Not Rated/106 min.
In Time shows us a Nigerian-American woman named Bisi the day before her wedding. When her fiance and his family arrive in African attire to make a formal proposal to her parents, Bisi runs away, tormented by the terrible secret of what an ancestral tradition has done to her. Named “Best Short Film” at Cine Noir. Not Rated/19 min.
This animated tale of a loner living in a trailer uses stop-action and computer graphics. Everything seems quiet, until an inflatable doll arrives. Believe me, a lot can happen in four minutes. Not Rated/4 min.
The Precious Gift
The story of Kamakakehau Fernandez, a young African-American man born in the south who ended up moving to Maui and becoming one of Hawai’i’s greatest falsetto singers. Featuring Richard Ho’opi’i. Not Rated/45 min.
Short about a futuristic singles bar where people hook up over TV screens. Did I mention all the people are senior citizens? Does it matter? Not Rated/14 min.
The Last Mogul
This film chronicles the life and times of Lew Wasserman, one of the most powerful men who ever ran Hollywood. Interviews with Steven Spielberg, Robert Evans, Michael Ovitz, former President Jimmy Carter and a dozen others make this perfectly clear. Wasserman died three years ago, so you know the film will be pretty honest. Not Rated/99 min.
Mommy’s away, so some uptight businessman takes his four-year-old daughter to the park “to make some memories.” Being an uptight businessman, Daddy can’t stop obsessing over an upcoming meeting until his daughter gets him to relax a bit… then all hell breaks loose! Okay, maybe not. Not Rated/7 min.
Mad Hot Ballroom
This is an award-winning look at 6,000 New York City public school students who enter a citywide ballroom dance competition. You know, ballroom dancing. You don’t often see the kids ballroom dancing, but that’s probably because you don’t see too many ballrooms anymore. Rated PG/105 min.
Mana: Beyond Belief
Filmmaker Peter Friedman and anthropologist Roger Manley travel from New Zealand to India to Graceland to Malaysia and points in between, documenting all the different types of mana around the world. Not Rated/92 min.
March of the Penguins
Yet another film being compared to Winged Migration, this time with penguins. This is the story of a year in the life of an emperor penguin flock as they journey across the Antarctic experiencing courtship, mating, birth, death, love and survival.ESounds like my last vacation. Morgan Freeman narrates. Rated G/80 min.
Marco Solo! I loved that game as a kid! We used to play it—oh, that was Marco Polo. Yeah, I think this is totally different, and concerns some nine-year-old in a big Italian family who still sleeps in his parents’ bedroom and has an unhealthy interest in Dame Edna. Not Rated/9 min.
Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School
A romantic dramedy about a widower who finds love and redemption at a ballroom dance school. Starring Academy Award-winners Marisa Tomei and Mary Steenburgen; Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) John Goodman, Sean Astin, Donnie Wahlberg. Not Rated/103 min.
Me and You and Everyone We Know
This film, which won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival, is performance artist Miranda July’s debut feature. It’s billed as a poetic look at how people struggle to connect with each another. Sounds deep. Rated R/90 min.
Follow the lives and troubles of a few members of the U.S. Paralympics quadriplegic rugby team. What, you didn’t know the U.S. fielded a Paralympic quadriplegic rugby team? Somebody hasn’t been watching ESPN 2… Rated R/86 min.
My Summer of Love
In this British chick flick, Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt play two young women from different worlds drawn to each other’s opposing traits. Rated R/86 min.
The New Janitor
Charlie Chaplin plays a janitor fired after throwing a bucket of water out the window. Since this is a comedy, the bucket lands on his boss—the same boss who’s secretly stealing company funds to pay off gambling debts! And when a loyal secretary catches the boss, Charlie—like all janitors—swoops in for the rescue. Not Rated/16 min.
Former Maui resident and current director of the Palm Springs Symphony Paul Gilman presents this salute to the creatures of the sea. So much so that Gilman ends up underwater playing for spinner dolphins, humpback whales and orcas. Includes a special live musical performance by Gillman and Friends. Not Rated/65 min.
A drunken Charlie Chaplin fights off various props while he tries to get into his house, upstairs and to bed. Not Rated/34 min.
The 100% Perfect Girl
A man suddenly realizes that an unknown woman he just passed on the street is the perfect girl for him. He has no idea why, but he’s sure of it. And this leads him to question the nature of soul mates, perfect matches, et al. Not Rated/15 min.
Our Time Is Up
A short film about a rigorously professional psychiatrist played by Kevin Pollack who ends up in trouble after he utters those immortal words of therapy “Our time is up.” Not Rated/14 min.
The Pawn Shop
After getting fired and then rehired by a pawnbroker, Charlie Chaplin nearly destroys everything in the shop as well as a client’s clock but then helps capture a burglar. Hurray!ENot Rated/32 min.
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
This loud and flashy movie follows the urban-rhythm group Stomp as they use their famous percussion skills to show… um, stuff, I guess. Look, these guys are fun to watch. Why do we have to look for something deep? Locations include India, the Kalahari Desert, Japan and beautiful Brooklyn. Not Rated/40 min.
Pursuit of Equality
The story behind San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to legalize a marriage license for the country’s oldest openly lesbian couple and the political explosion that followed as same-sex couples lined up outside San Francisco’s City Hall.EThis film won the Documentary Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Fest. Not Rated/90 min.
The Real Dirt on Farmer John
The true story of an eccentric farmer in the Midwest whose concern for the land inspires him to go organic. His choice ends up helping build a community and putting thousands of people back in connection with the soil. That last part sounds bad, but it’s actually good. Not Rated/83 min.
Charlie Chaplin plays a roller-skating waiter. I think it’s pretty obvious what happens. Not Rated/30 min.
Fashion photographer and music video director David LaChappele explores “krumping,” the new hip-hop dance trend that’s exploding on the streets of South Central Los Angeles. Rated PG-13/85 min.
Paul Green’s Rock School inspired the recent movie School of Rock starring Jack Black. This is the emotional yet hilarious portrait of a guy who runs a Philadelphia after-school program as if he was Vince Lombardi. Rated R/93 min.
The Thing About My Folks
Paul Reiser stars as the son who has to deal with his feisty dad (Peter Falk) after he shows up one night saying that his longtime wife (Olympia Dukakis) has dumped him. Also starring Elizabeth Perkins. Not Rated/94 min.
Charlie Chaplin plays a tramp who saves a farmer’s daughter from thieves, loves the girl and then loses her. Just like life. Not Rated/32 min.
Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Robert Redford appear in this documentary on the life of Native American activist and poet John Trudell. Not Rated/80 min.
Charlie Chaplin rescues a girl from a band of gypsies. Now I know this kind of thing happens all the time, but it works here. Because what happens is that the girl then seems to fall in love with an artist, which causes Chaplin to go nutso. Not Rated/34 min.
What are you Anyways?
Jeff Chiba Stearns wrote, directed, animated and narrated this story of his growing up half-Caucasian, half-Japanese in Canada. Life’s lonely, but then Jeff discovers the Hawaiian word “hapa” and realizes there are plenty of people just like him. Not Rated/10 min.
What if in this Life?
A coin drops into the palm of a homeless man, and then he suddenly finds he has the power to change the lives around him. Well, that and get a cup of coffee. Not Rated/13 min.
Waiting to Inhale
An especially timely examination—given recent Supreme Court rulings—of the history, science and politics of the U.S. government’s war against marijuana. Not Rated/85 min.
The Wendell Baker Story
All three Wilson brothers—Luke, Owen and Andrew—star in this picture about a con man with a heart of gold. Also stars Eva Mendes, Harry Dean Stanton and Kris Kristofferson. Not Rated/102 min.
Maui Film Festival Schedule (PDF)