Aug. 11--Ryan Greer doesn't view himself as a movie star, so you can't blame him for being a bit surprised by the reaction he got the other day at Dave's Ice Cream in Waimanalo.
The young women working behind the counter recognized him right away as the star of the locally made indie film "One Kine Day." And even though the film has been a hit with film festival audiences since 2010 and available as a Redbox rental since last year, the 26-year-old Greer has not become a household name -- except maybe in Enchanted Lake, where he grew up.
But public awareness of "One Kine Day" has ascended to new levels since it became available last month on Netflix.
"It was so fun," Greer said of that day in Waimanalo. "The girls that worked there were so fanning out. They were, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe you are here.' I said I'm just a regular guy who grew up in Kailua, but it didn't seem to matter."
Greer played Ralsto, a young ne'er-do-well skater who discovers his 15-year-old girlfriend, Alea, is pregnant. The film, which takes place up and down Oahu's Windward side, follows Ralsto as he tries to raise money for an abortion. It's sad and charming and honest all at the same time.
"One Kine Day" is Greer's only film credit, shot in the summer of 2009 while he was a student at Portland State University. He graduated last year with a biology degree and a career arc that may take him to medical school instead of acting classes.
Greer doesn't want to sound pretentious about his celebrity status. The whole thing is somewhat embarrassing, he said.
He likes to point out to fans the places he has worked in Kailua and that they've probably already met.
"Most of the people who recognize me are from Hawaii or my town or towns nearby," he said. "I just feel like one of them. They are people I probably interacted with at some point. It's not like I am some special person. I'm just their neighbor."
Nippon Golden Network is going to feature one of Japanese television's most beloved series, "Oshin," and offer it free to Hawaii viewers through a special promotion.
This is the series that would bring Japan to a halt whenever one of its 15-minute episodes aired during the early 1980s. The series has been edited into four parts, all subtitled in English, and a new one will air each Sunday starting Sept. 1.
The series tells the story of Oshin, whose poor family sent her to work at age 7. It follows a life of hardships and finally success as a business owner.
It was the highest-rated show in Japan when it aired, said film historian Brian Suzuki, who regularly introduces community favorites on NGN. "Oshin" averaged half the total viewing audience and was so popular it aired in 59 countries.
"Everybody had to watch it," Suzuki said. "I was told that during the workday everybody had to look for a TV set during the time it was shown, even during work."
Oshin was a character on par with strong heroines from other cultures, including Laura Ingalls from "Little House on the Prairie" and Anne Shirley of "Anne of Green Gables," said Anderson Le, director of programming for the Hawaii International Film Festival.
"Oshin, the character, represented endurance," said Le, who believes there is a large fan base in Hawaii for Japanese dramas. "It's a story of perseverance."
Although NGN is a subscription cable channel through Oceanic Time Warner Cable, the showing of "Oshin" is being offered free to those who sign up for the special promotion. You can request a form via email from firstname.lastname@example.org. com or by calling NGN at 538-1966.
And that's a wrap ...
Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser's film and television writer. Read his Outtakes Online blog at honolulupulse.com. Reach him at 529-4803 or email email@example.com.
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