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Thread: Princess Ka'iulani

  1. #1

    Default Princess Ka'iulani

    What do you think of the new film about Princess Ka`iulani being titled “Barbarian Princess”? Apparently the title was chosen in order to peek the public's interest, despite the offensiveness to many people. Is this a case of the almighty dollar being chosen over dignity, or, is it a case of good business judgment?

    http://kgmb9.com/main/content/view/22029/40/

    From KGMB9 news:
    “The film "Barbarian Princess" is so popular at this year's Hawaii International Film Festival that a second screening has been added. But the title is so unpopular, even the film's star doesn't like it.”
    "I'm a little saddened that in 2009, Princess Kaiulani again is going to have to be associated with being barbaric in the same sentence," said Q'orianka Kilcher, the star in "Barbarian Princess."

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...=rss_localnews

    An earlier Advertiser story reported:
    “Native Hawaiians yesterday expressed anger at the decision to call a soon-to-be-released feature film on Princess Ka'iulani's life "Barbarian Princess," and some went as far as to call the title a publicity stunt and an insult to the young royal's memory.”
    "Barbarian Princess," meant to be an ironic title, is what the princess was dubbed by some newspapers during her travels in the 1890s to the Mainland, where she astounded people with her grace, intelligence and beauty. The movie's producers say the title is meant to intrigue audiences, especially those outside of the Islands who wouldn't recognize her name or know her story.”

    A producer and co-owner [Tijoe] explained:
    "It was a way to bring to the fore what had happened in the past," he said. Tijoe acknowledged that the film title is "provocative," and he also said part of the reason "Barbarian Princess" was picked was because of fears the other working titles wouldn't have a commercial appeal outside of Hawai'i.
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  2. #2
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    Red face Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Commercial draw is certainly what's being put out there as the justification for the title. But not only do I not have a problem with it on those grounds, I think it's a reasonable choice on artistic grounds as well. It's a commentary, and a rather effective one at that, insofar as it's generated so much debate around the very issue that led to that historic, crude label.

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    I know Roy Tjioe, admire him, his partner and their company and trust his judgement. Don't tell the Advertiser but they misspelled his last name in the article above!

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Why arent people upset that they used a south american to portray a hawaiian. Seems like we have plenty hawaiians that could of stepped up.
    She is peruvian/swiss.
    She is very active in indigenous rights groups.
    She was in the movie "the new world " this movie was edited due to controversy regarding her age and some sex scenes.
    Maybe the filmakkers will rethink the title before it has a general release.
    Based on the actresses viewpoints and causes i am surprised that she has gone along with the title.
    According to this link:http://hawaiifilmoffice.blogspot.com...sing-stir.html
    the movie was renamed during production and there was other controversy as well.
    Consensus seems to be that it is a less than b grade movie that fictionalizes a hawaiian story. Too bad.
    Last edited by escondido100; October 16th, 2009 at 11:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Quote Originally Posted by escondido100 View Post
    Why arent people upset that they used a south american to portray a hawaiian. Seems like we have plenty hawaiians that could of stepped up.
    Plenty hawaiians, yes.

    But plenty native hawaiian actresses that can pass auditions, that I don't know.
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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    I think people are being too sensitive. I have endured racial stereotypes and epithets all my life even up to today.

    This reminds me of the European view of Americans as being overly litigious - suing someone else instead of taking responsibility for their mistakes.

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Quote Originally Posted by escondido100 View Post
    Why arent people upset that they used a south american to portray a hawaiian. Seems like we have plenty hawaiians that could of stepped up.[...]
    I did not work on this movie but I can almost assure you that auditions were held that included Hawaiian and Hawaiian mixes, with and without acting experience. From my experience there is a very, very small pool of Hawaiians with strong acting chops. In Hawaii there is a very small pool of skilled actors, regardless of ethnicity. Once actors achieve a certain skill level they need to move to the mainland to keep honing their craft and availing themselves of the opportunities that aren't prevalent in Hawaii.

    On a positive note, Q'orianka and her family used to live here so there's a Hawaii tie, albeit not koko. I've auditioned her, her mother and brother several times before they moved to the mainland to further Q'orianka's acting opportunities. Last I heard, she was discovered while busking on a street mall in Santa Monica.

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    This whole title controversy is much ado about nothing. As have been mentioned, its all marketing... after the film is gone, it will be in the DVD racks and hopefully in a few years in the $5 bin at WalMart.

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Did anyone on here actually see the movie tonite? if so, can you post your thoughts about it?

    thanks!
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    I have to review it for the paper, so I'll keep my own thoughts to myself for two days. But the elderly Hawaiian man on my right kept falling asleep and snoring, and the middle-aged, gay haole man on my left kept applauding wildly at inappropriate times.
    I will say the costumes are excellent.
    I hope this isn't overlooked. The score is performed by the Honolulu Symphony.
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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Buzz, that was a perfect review.

    Succinct and full of thought.

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Quote Originally Posted by escondido100 View Post
    Why arent people upset that they used a south american to portray a hawaiian. Seems like we have plenty hawaiians that could of stepped up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Random View Post
    Plenty hawaiians, yes.

    But plenty native hawaiian actresses that can pass auditions, that I don't know.
    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    I did not work on this movie but I can almost assure you that auditions were held that included Hawaiian and Hawaiian mixes, with and without acting experience. From my experience there is a very, very small pool of Hawaiians with strong acting chops. In Hawaii there is a very small pool of skilled actors, regardless of ethnicity. Once actors achieve a certain skill level they need to move to the mainland to keep honing their craft and availing themselves of the opportunities that aren't prevalent in Hawaii.

    i fully realize the opinions of one native hawaiian family cannot represent the opinion(s) of everyone in the native hawaiian community. but i do know of one family, very active in hawaiian culture/politics, is appreciative of efforts made by and attitude of by the non-Hawaiian actress. the analogy they used was jennifer lopez (puerto rican) playing selena (mexican).
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Quote Originally Posted by cynsaligia View Post
    i fully realize the opinions of one native hawaiian family cannot represent the opinion(s) of everyone in the native hawaiian community. but i do know of one family, very active in hawaiian culture/politics, is appreciative of efforts made by and attitude of by the non-Hawaiian actress. the analogy they used was jennifer lopez (puerto rican) playing selena (mexican).
    Even on Selena, there was some initial backlash from Mexican-American activists with the casting of Jennifer Lopez for the title role. The protest was largely quieted down when Abraham Quintanilla (Selena's father and the executive producer of the film) came out and said that Lopez was the best choice for the movie over everyone else (including many Mexican actresses) who auditioned. But one would like to think that the life story of Selena and her family was what ultimately convinced the public: That a performer should be accepted and embraced for their talent and not be pidgeon-holed and held back by their ethnic background. If a Puerto Rican happened to be the best actress to portray Selena, then why should she be denied the opportunity? Caving into the demands of activists in this instance would be to disregard the ideas and values that Selena was fighting for in her efforts to become a crossover artist.

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    I did not work on this movie but I can almost assure you that auditions were held that included Hawaiian and Hawaiian mixes, with and without acting experience.
    If Sue says so, then that's good enough for me.

    I won't be able to catch this at the HIFF, but I look forward to seeing this on Blu-Ray as soon as it comes out.

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    I watched it on Friday. I kept wondering "what is it about this movie-watching experience that's different?" A lady I spoke with afterwards hit it on the nose: the theatre was full of people, watching silently. There were bursts of applause at points, but for the most part, a very silent audience (from where I was sitting). I watched it with a friend who moved here 3 years ago from NJ. She said she liked the movie and that it had piqued her interest, not only in Princess Ka‘iulani, but in this place she now calls home. She lives in Capitol Place, and now, she has a greater appreciation for her proximity to ‘Iolani Palace. I was entertained by the movie. The historical timeline was condensed. It could have been better-lit in some parts. There was a lot of kissing that made me uncomfortable, but I think that was because I don't like PDA. The made-up romance was just a vehicle to further the story line, (quite frankly, I hope that the Princess had some sort of real-life love interest—at least a crush!—in her too-short life) and from what I can tell, had no affect on the historical timeline. Overall, the feel of the movie was very pro-monarchy, not surprising, since Ka‘iulani is the protagonist. My hope is that the movie gets more people interested in Hawaiian history. It's very fascinating.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Third screening Sunday night sold out; fourth screening added for earlier that same day - Sunday @ 10 a.m.

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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Caving into the demands of activists in this instance would be to disregard the ideas and values that Selena was fighting for in her efforts to become a crossover artist.
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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimo View Post
    Third screening Sunday night sold out; fourth screening added for earlier that same day - Sunday @ 10 a.m.
    Sunday's schedule for this movie ended up with 3 showings; 10a, 12:30p and 8:30p. All are sold out! Amazing!

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    Post Re: Barbarian Princess title

    I really want to see it when I can sometime. Got to see nighttime filming at Iolani Palace as I drove home along King Street at midnight.

    Looked very elaborate.

    As far as the movie's title... I think it fits.
    Because during the time of her life 'barbarian' was a word in normal usage.
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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    The official theatrical preview is out... and it looks like it's now titled, simply, "Princess Kaiulani." IMDB lists "Barbarian Princess" as its "festival title" and "Princess Kaiulani" is the "new" U.S. release title.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Barbarian Princess title

    Wow. I look forward to seeing the film in May. Thanks for a dose of chicken skin this morning, Ryan!

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    Thumbs up Re: Barbarian Princess title

    I like the (PC) Title of "Princess Kai'ulani".
    The movie starts playing on Friday 5/14/10.
    Mrs. Menehune and I will go to see it at Kahala 8 on Sunday5/16 afternoon/evening...
    Anyone else wanna meet up there? Sure looking forward to this!
    Not sure what showing yet. 3:30, 5:50, or 8:10pm. Can plan it out!
    Here's the trailer.
    Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

  22. #22

    Talking Re: Barbarian Princess title

    We're gonna be watching it at the Prince Kuhio tomorrow at 7:05pm. Say "hi" if you see me.. I'll be first in line. LOL
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Saw it today - brief thoughts I posted to another board:

    If you want to go see it because of your interest in Hawaiian culture and history ... save your money. Wait for the DVD and rent it. The historical aspects are, to put it diplomatically, "simplified" for the sake of the story. (Who knew Sanford Dole was so much a supporter of Kanaka rights?)

    Beautiful scenery (many beach scenes shot out at Bellows), lovely footage from inside `Iolani Palace (the docents must have been cringing during shooting, though), and Ocean Ka`owili was perfect as Kalākaua.

    You could tell who in the cast were native speakers of Hawaiian and who had been coached, and the film had a certain British "linger on the scenery during the love story sequences" technique to it.

    Among the musicians, Blaine Kia has a brief but outstanding part on the beach, singing to Princess Ka`iulani upon her return to Hawai`i. Chinky Mahoe also appears in a smattering of hula sequences.

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    Thumbs up Re: Princess Kaiulani

    We saw it today also... 3:30 showing.

    It was more of a 'date' movie than documentary. We enjoyed.
    I think it told the basic story of the overthrow, Queen Lili'uokalani, and Princess Ka'iulani well enough. She was a brave woman and really did try to do what she could.
    Also I liked a lot of the actors, they all did great!
    Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Bob Jones gives his take on the movie in MidWeek.

    I rate it a first-class stinker.
    The historical liberties are too horrible to give more than a passing mention. The U.S. Marines didn’t invade Iolani Palace. They camped way makai.
    Ka’iulani’s love affair is made up. It’s not found anywhere in her letters or those of her father, Archibald Cleghorn.
    Ka’iulani wasn’t sent to England because of any threat to her life. Her family thought she should have a British education and she did. Simple as that.
    Amen to all of that.

    The Marines bustin' into the palace. Ka'iulani's red-hot passionate love affair. The princess fleeing to England in peril. That and all of the other historical fabrications and embellishments,.... it doesn't take a Roger Ebert to figure out why they're all in there. The moviemakers were thinking that this is the kind of stuff that you need to incorporate into the story in order to make a blockbuster film. IOW, appealing to the lowest common demoninator.

    Well, if that was the aim of the moviemakers, then frankly speaking, it didn't work as Princess Kaiulani has languished at the box office.

    To add insult to injury, the historical liberties that were taken in the vain attempt to make the movie more commercial has resulted in a product that misinforms and distorts the actual events re: Ka'iulani's life and the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy to those who are curious enough to rent and seek out this film on DVD in the years to come.
    Last edited by Frankie's Market; June 4th, 2010 at 03:00 PM.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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