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Mark Lutwak, artistic director for Honolulu Theatre for Youth, recommends Children of a Fireland. Author Gary Pak “is the master of filling bottomless wells of pain with goofy magic realism. Children of a Fireland, set in a semi-imaginary Windward Oahu, plumbs the ridiculous heights and really sad depths of what it means to live together in a small Island community. Keeping secrets? Hah!” University of Hawaii Press, 2004.
Deborah Pope, executive director of Shangri La, recommends Dead Man. “A haunting, slow-moving, black-and-white film with the look of 19th-century photos and an edgy soundtrack by Neil Young.” The film, set in the late 1800s, follows a mysterious young man named William Blake (Johnny Depp). “Hilariously funny and hauntingly sad, the film is an anti-western—it dissolves borders between this world and the spiritual.” Miramax Films, 1996.
Daniel de Castro, public relations director for The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division, recommends Ray Charles’ last album, Genius Loves Company. “It may not be his best work, but his distinctive musical genius shines through in some near-great duets with well-known artists. His gift for seamless crossovers—from all-time classic favorites to more modern, contemporary songs—makes this album feel like comfort food.’” Concord Records, 2004.
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