Our Watch List: Films to Look Forward to This Fall

Get tickets and mark your calendars for these upcoming films and shows we’re excited to see from HRFF, HIFF and more.

 

11 22 Hm Courtesy Of Hiff Waterman Audience

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i International Film Festival

 

Fall is film festival season, an exciting time for those of us who live for art and breathe stories. With the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (HRFF) on this month and Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) in October, there’s plenty to look forward to in addition to the series and movies coming to theaters and streaming platforms—but only so many hours in a day. Our editorial team pored over the screening programs and marked these films and shows for our must-watch list, and there might be something here for you too.

 


 

 

My Partner

Keli‘i Grace’s My Partner has been on my radar all summer, and I’m excited to finally see it on the closing night of the HRFF. The BL genre is almost untapped in the West, but it has been exploding in the Philippines and Thailand beyond its origins in Japan. The fact that this drama was filmed in Lahaina with local rising talent makes it that much more special to see. –TO

 

Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

Sunday, Sept. 10, 2 p.m. at Doris Duke Theatre (Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St.)

Tickets sold out

 


SEE ALSO: Honolulu’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival Returns


 

Cora Bora

I loved Megan Stalter in her role as nepo baby turned chaotic personal assistant in the TV series Hacks, so I’m excited to see her sink her comedic chops into her first leading role in Cora Bora. Stalter seems perfectly matched with director-actor Hannah Pearl Utt (Before You Know It) in her turn as Cora, a 30-something musician trying to make it big in L.A. who returns home to Portland in attempt to win back her long-distance girlfriend, unleashing all sorts of unhinged messiness along the way. –BT

 

Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

Saturday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m. at Doris Duke Theatre (Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St.)

 


 

 

Flora and Son

As a mom of little boys, seeing the relationship this mom has with her son in the beginning of the movie is my worst nightmare. It looks like the train-wreck relationship you hope to not have with your teenager. However, Flora seems super relatable, as she’s just doing the very best she can, and most times she feels like she’s falling short (the joys of parenthood!). Of course, she stops at nothing to find that thing that will help her create a strong bond with her child. It helps that there’s also a little romance involved in the plot—with the ever-adorable JGL (Joseph Gordon Levitt), no less! –JC

 

Hawai‘i International Film Festival

Thursday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. at Consolidated Kāhala Theatres

Tickets on sale Sept. 25

 


 

Aum The Cult At The End Hiff43

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i International Film Festival

 

Aum: The Cult at the End of the World

This documentary covers the 1995 nerve gas attack on a subway in Tokyo that people may also be familiar with from Haruki Murakami’s book, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, and other retellings. Cults and terrorism are such captivating topics as we try to understand how things like this can happen. Almost 30 years later, what new perspectives will this add? I’m looking forward to finding out. –KV

 

Hawai‘i International Film Festival

Screenings TBA

Tickets on sale Sept. 25

 


 

 

Enter the Clones of Bruce

This film takes us through the rise of iconic actor/martial arts master Bruce Lee and his sudden death at age 32 in 1973 just as he’d achieved global fame. Born in San Francisco and raised in British Hong Kong, Bruce Lee became a pop icon with his fast-paced mix of martial arts and inspiring tales of good triumphing over evil. Yet years later, his new movies kept being promoted, which I recall thinking was strange at the time. Now, we know why. Some in the film industry sought to capitalize on his fame, and this documentary explores the surreal “Bruceploitation” that followed. –RD

 

Hawai‘i International Film Festival

Screenings TBA

Tickets on sale Sept. 25

 


 

Join Or Die Hiff43

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i International Film Festival

 

Join or Die

The playfully menacing title of this documentary refers to the benefits of belonging to organizations, clubs, community groups. Social scientist Robert Putnam delves into the decline of social connection in the U.S. in his “Bowling Alone” research, which found more people bowling but not in organized leagues. I’m intrigued to find out how he links the lack of social gathering to the chaotic civic unraveling of recent decades. Joining a club might cut in half our chances of dying in the next year? Sign me up! –RD

 

 

Hawai‘i International Film Festival

Screenings TBA

Tickets on sale Sept. 25

 


 

 

Surf Girls Hawai‘i

Five young Native Hawaiian women—Moana Jones Wong, Ewe Wong, Maluhia Kinimaka, Pua DeSoto and Brianna Cope—train and compete to win a spot on the WSL Championship Tour. This four-part docuseries pays witness to their struggles and successes as they strengthen their resolves and strive to live up to the Hawaiian surfing legacy. In addition to the great rush of seeing girls doing the extraordinary, the show promises a Native Hawaiian lens of surfing, a sport that originated in the Islands before taking off internationally. –AL

 

Streaming on Amazon Prime

 


 

 

Past Lives

You know you’re in for it when just the trailer is hitting you. Past Lives follows the reunion of childhood friends Nora and Hae Sung, 20 years after Nora emigrated from South Korea to the U.S. In two minutes, the trailer captures the joy and sadness of seeing an old friend again and the regret that comes with growing apart and wondering what might have been. Honestly, I did not feel emotionally prepared to see this in a public theater. I’ll choose a day when I can cozy up in bed, tissue box by my side, and let this film wash over me and wring me out. –AL

 

Streaming on all major platforms Sept. 18