Everyone loves themselves a good night out at the cinema, or prefers being curled up at home chilling with Netflix (and possibly a partner too). Suffice it to say, when the lights go down and we're transported into stories - and locations - away from our own, there's nothing else quite like it. These stories may be set in galaxies far far away, or lands that don't quite look like Kansas anymore, but they've also been set in the beautiful islands we know as Hawaii, which has its own extensive history as a favorite movie set for filmmakers all over the world. Sit back, relax and enjoy as we list cinematic works that have used the diverse locations of the islands as a backdrop, or even character, to their stories.
A significant portion of the production for the movie Jurassic Park took place on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The island's lush jungles and diverse landscapes provided the perfect backdrop for the fictional amusement park. However, one of the most iconic scenes, the Gallimimus stampede, was filmed on the Kualoa Ranch on the neighboring island of Oahu.
The Endless Summer
Bruce Brown's influential surfing documentary, The Endless Summer, captured the spirit of adventure and the thrill of surfing as it followed the journeys of surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August. The film took viewers on a global tour of the best surf spots, including the iconic Waikiki Beach in Hawaii's Oahu, showcasing the beauty of the waves and the vibrant surf culture. The Hawaii segment added to the allure of the film, showcasing the paradise-like setting that many surfers dream of riding.
August at Akiko's
August at Akiko's is a recent independent film set in Hawaii that explores themes of identity, connection, and belonging. The story revolves around Alex, a young musician who finds solace in the serene atmosphere and communal meals at Akiko's Bed and Breakfast. As he befriends the owners and guests, Alex grapples with his own complex relationships and cultural heritage. The film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018, receiving critical acclaim for its intimate storytelling and authentic portrayal of Hawaiian life.
The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne, is a compelling film that stars George Clooney and Shailene Woodley. Set in Hawaii, the movie takes viewers to picturesque locations, including Honolulu and Hanalei Bay. The filming locations beautifully capture the essence of the story, providing a stunning backdrop for the emotional journey of the characters. Through its captivating performances and stunning settings, The Descendants paints a vivid picture of the complexities of family, love, and loss.
Visions in the Dark: The Life of Pinky Thompson
Visions in the Dark: The Life of Pinky Thompson is a powerful documentary directed by Ty Sanga that highlights the life and achievements of Myron "Pinky" Thompson, a Hawaiian activist. Through his tireless efforts, Thompson played a crucial role in uplifting the Native Hawaiian community, advocating for a comprehensive healthcare system, promoting expanded educational programs, and fostering a sense of pride among the Hawaiian people. Sanga's film not only pays tribute to Thompson's legacy but also sheds light on the ongoing struggles faced by Native Hawaiians and the importance of continuing his work for a better future.