HAWAiiAN GARDENS

Story Notes

About our youth.

She - A young, smart Chicana. High school student. Passionate reader. Curious, adventurous, fearless, playful, sensual, and cruel at times. She wants to find out. The guy shows up. He is strange. Rosa falls in love. She realizes that he wants to use her as his tool. She finds out what he wants. She makes him tell her his secrets. He is a crook. He is not ready to repent.

He – A monster. The kind that our new markets and technologies create. Baldur “Baldi” Graf, worth 280 million, German, Internet pirate. He‘s been ripping off old unknown writers since he was 19.

But monsters too have a sex drive.

We see the collapse of Baldi’s firm. A collapse that many dot coms experience in our days. These firms were built in a rapid pace, with rapid growth. They are vulnerable to internal and external shakes. When Baldi, the boss, can’t deliver because he is caught in a love affair, his employees are lost and ready to loose their balance, out of fear that their success is at risk.

DogShit is a cult book written by a cult writer by the name of Shulzov. Baldi leaves his safe concept of signing up unknowns and goes after the famous author Shulzov.

wpf016fb36.jpg Shulzov is Rosa’s mentor. He lives in a strip mall in greater Los Angeles, with people who represent “real life”, people who feed his observations for his writings. Rosa becomes his student, he teaches her world literature. He becomes her mentor. She loves to read, to experience the world through books. When Baldi shows up in the Taco Restaurant of her parents he represents the strange and incredibly interesting world of her readings. She wants to open him up, like a scientist craves to reveal the mechanics of the object of his studies.

It’s been about seven years now. I went with my son, Felix, to a Mexican eatery. The room was between light and dark. It had a concrete floor. They served the food on real plates, not plastic ones. It was loud and busy. Mexican workers, office people, youth. A nice mix. Every time the entrance door opened a shaft of glaring white light cut into the room.

A young Mexican woman, not older than 16, was serving. Maybe she was the daughter of the house. She had a very serious expression on her face, her movements were quick, she didn’t write her orders down, she memorized everything, and still seemed to make no mistakes.

The entrance door opened, a young man whose backpack surmounted his head, stood there, a black silhouette against the stark light. Then the door closed behind him and now one could see his face, a typical northern almost white blonde guy with very fair skin and some sweat on his forehead. The young waitress stopped dead in her tracks and stared fascinated at the young man. I thought, she would drop her plates if she didn’t wake up in time. But the plate fell only seven years later when Rosa sees Baldi in HAWAiiAN GARDENS for the first time.

Casting...

...Meeting Richard /Shareen / Rosa / Tzi / and Mr. Roundtree

Adventure in Taft - Taft is a prison in the California desert. Shall I tell you what happened there? Maybe in another movie…

Frauenau – the place where we shot the Bavarian scenes is a very old glass village. Baldi’s office was built into a former barnlike building where they cooked the glass soup.

The village is also the home place of Benigna, my friend and TV executive.

One of the real pleasures of making this movie was the casting of 13 young guys, all from this region to become Baldi’s inteernet crew. Just the very different ways they sat down and started working on a computer was hilarious. The region is full of theater talent and it was hard to make choices… they were all good.

Can I convince anybody that stories can be told in a different way? Why are you disappointed when you don’t find out immediately who is good and who is bad? Why are you uncomfortalble after you find out that there is neither good nor bad but layers of both in all of them -- us? (Percy Adlon, Rom, October 2000, during editing HG)

Valeria Hernandez - Rosa

Valeria Hernandez was born in San Antonio, Texas. She is proud of her Chicano/Mexican heritage. Her grandfather was Spanish-Apache, her great-grandmother German-Irish. She tries to escape Hollywood, her work place, as often as possible, to go back to her real hometown – San Antonio; to the warmth of friends and family.

wpd49fb805.jpg Acting is just one her many skills. She has been dancing since she was three years old. Flamenco, Mexican folkloric dance, Modern, HipHop. She is a young woman of many faces. She plays teenagers and… well how old do you think she is? The night before the wrap party of “HAWAiiAN GARDENS” she told director Percy Adlon “Tomorrow you will see the real Valeria”. She came with her daughter Tonanzin. How old is Tonanzin? Cut it!

She paints… even walls, when she moves into a new house. She writes poetry. She loves grass; flowers, vivid colors, high heels, spices, red wine, real hot food, and a serious conversation. She never gains weight. She goes to five auditions a day, and is considered part of the new wave of powerful Latina talents.

Rosa in HAWAiiAN GARDENS is Valeria’s first lead in a feature film.

André Eisermann – Baldi

André Eisermann was born in 1967 into a showman’s family and grew up on the fairgrounds. At the age of 17 he went to Munich to apply at the famous Otto-Falckenberg school to study acting but was accepted only 3 years later, in 1988, after he had gained some “practical experience” under Alex Corti at the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna. His four years of studies were followed by engagements at the Bayerische Staatsschauspiel, the Münchener Kammerspiele, and the Hessische Staatstheater in Wiesbaden.

Before his official film debut in DURST (Thirst), he appeared in Peter Timm’s comedy GO TRABI GO. Peter Sehr’s film KASPER HAUSER, released in 1994, in which André Eisermann plays the title role, became an international success. Not only did Eisermann receive a great many euphoric reviews, but also numerous prizes and rewards.

After the Best Actor Prize at the Film Festival in Locarno, he received, among others, the Bavarian Film Prize, the German Film Prize and the Film Ribbon in Gold.

Also his next film, SCHLAFES BRUDER, by Joseph Vilsmaier, in which he played the musician Johannes Elias Alder, received many awards including a Golden Globe nomination in Hollywood.

But André Eisermann always returned to the stage. Under the direction of Leander Hausman he played the Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream” at the Salzburg Festival, sang Papageno in George Tabori’s production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in the Zirkuszelt (A Berlin tent theater), and, together with Jakob Vinje, was able to draw the audiences to thunderous applause with his “Spoken Word Performance: Goethe – Werther – Eisermann.”

For his role in HAWAiiAN GARDENS, André learned his super-“Baldi”-English within five weeks.

Richard Bradford – Shulzov

Richard Bradford has shared the screen with a long list of film’s greatest actors – under the eye of some of the most prestigious directors.

wpc22d9535.jpg Among those he has worked with are 3 Oscar winners – the late Geraldine Page in A TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL, Sean Connery in Brian De Palma’s THE UNTOUCHABLES and Jack Lemmon in Costa Grava’s MISSING with the young Sean Penn. A decade later director Sean Penn looked to re-team with Richard when he asked him to join Jack Nicholson in THE CROSSING GUARD.

He was also sought out by director Mike Figgis for his edgy INTERNAL AFFAIRS opposite Richard Gere. He played the rich tycoon whose world is thrown into turmoil in Robert Redford’s THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR and Richard most recently worked with director Percy Adlon of BAGDAD CAFE fame, in his newest HAWAiiAN GARDENS.

Richard Roundtree – M.O.

Richard Roundtree initially came to international fame starring as John Shaft, private detective and supercop hero in a trio of movies: SHAFT, SHAFT IN AFRICA and SHAFT’S BIG SCORE. He also starred in the 90-minute television series, “Shaft.”

But Roundtree was just beginning to stretch his talents. He quickly moved on to star in a number of films with Hollywood’s most legendary actors. CITYHEAT with Clint Eastwood, DIAMONDS with Robert Shaw, MAN FRIDAY with Peter O’Toole, GAME FOR VULTURES with Richard Harris, and INCHON with Laurence Olivier, to name just a few.

Richard’s recent work has been just as impressive, having added the smash hit thriller SEVEN with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, and the critically acclaimed ONCE UPON THE TIME… WHEN WE WERE COLORED to his list. Other recent features include the remake of SHAFT reprising the role of John Shaft. STEEL with basketball superstar Shaquile O’Neal, and the highly successful GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE for Disney Pictures.

He was recently given the honor of being nominated by the NAACP for an IMAGE AWARD as Best Actor in a Drama series for his work as Mr. Thomas on the highly acclaimed FOX series, “413 Hope Street”.

As busy as ever, Richard recently completed filming CORKY for Disney Studios, HAWAIIAN GARDENS, directed by Percy Adlon, and a British produced film, AL’S LADS. He is also reappearing this season on the new Showtime series “Soul Food”.

An advocate for the fight against breast cancer, Richard is involved with many charitable events to help raise funds to find a cure and support community programs.

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