‘Hawai‘i Movie and Television Book’ chronicles local contributions
A new 2018 edition of the book adds 13 classic films, along with feature films, TV shows and documentaries released since the original version was published in 2015.
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Film historians Ed Rampell and Luis I. Reyes made an important contribution in documenting Hawaii’s place in American film and television production with the publication of “Made in Paradise: Hollywood’s Films of Hawaii and the South Seas” in 1995.
They cast an ambitiously wide net in covering almost a century of films about Hawaii that were made in Hawaii, films about Hawaii that were made outside Hawaii, films made in Hawaii about other “south seas” areas, and “south seas” films made outside Hawaii.
“THE HAWAI‘I MOVIE AND TELEVISION BOOK”
Ed Rampell and Luis I. Reyes (Mutual Publishing)
For instance, “Waikiki Wedding” was filmed almost entirely in Hollywood, while 20th Century Fox’s magnificent 1958 film version of “South Pacific,” the Rogers & Hammerstein musical about World War II in the south Pacific, was shot almost entirely in Hawaii.
Rampell and Reyes followed their first book with “The Hawai‘i Movie and Television Book” in 2013 (updated in 2015), which was specifically about film and television production in Hawaii. They created a stand-alone overview of English-language film and television production in Hawaii starting with the early silent dramas of 1913.
A new 2018 edition of the book adds 13 classic films, along with feature films, TV shows and documentaries released since 2015.
The book includes everything from major studio films such as the 2011 drama “The Descendants” and Edgy Lee’s culturally significant documentary “Paniolo o Hawai‘i” to college film projects. “The Descendants” gets six pages and includes a full-reveal account of the story. Some of the others are summarized in two or three sentences.
To their credit, Rampell and Reyes recognize Cameron Crowe’s much-maligned 2015 film, “Aloha,” as being about more than the decision to cast a Caucasian actor as a half-Caucasian person who looks Caucasian; they note its importance in introducing Hawaiian nationalist leader Bumpy Kanahele to American film audiences.
A new “Extras” chapter features profiles of Jason Mamoa, Auli‘i Cravalho and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and an essay on Duke Kahanamoku.
Another chapter plots places movie buffs can go and see where iconic scenes were filmed around the isles; the majority being on Oahu. There’s also a “Descendants Tour” that outlines the film’s shooting locations on Oahu and Kauai.
However, despite the meticulous coverage of local vest-pocket filmmaking, there is no mention of the pioneering documentary films of Native Hawaiian filmmaker Eddie Kamae or the feature films of Maui resident Brian Kohne.
Still, the paperback is a valuable purchase for anyone interested in the history of Hawaii in motion pictures.