The Land Report

SPR 2012

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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16 The LandReport | S P R I N G 2 0 1 2 LANDREPORT.COM T he Descendants was adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings's acclaimed 2007 debut novel of the same name. At the center of Hemmings's story is Matt King, Clooney's character, a middle-aged father of two who is equal parts i nept parent, shell-shocked husband, and reluctant Hawaiian land baron. King is neither hero nor anti-hero. He's a flawed man who gets the wind knocked out of him by a series of surprises that are his own making as well as the legacy of his one-of-a-kind Hawaiian heritage. In creating this pivotal character, Hemmings highlighted a rarefied group of H awaiians: those who can trace their heritage back six and seven generations to the marriages of native Hawaiian royalty with white missionaries and landowners who settled on the islands. [For more insight, see "John Palmer Parker" of Parker Ranch fame in Land Report Winter 2008.] In The Descendants, King's great-great-grandmother, Princess Margaret Ke'alohilani, is singled out as one of the last descendants of King Kamehameha (1758-1819). The princess not only gave her love to her haole banker, Edward King, but she also gave her lands. Centuries later, Matt King and his cousins are bound together by a priceless swath of Hawaii. The land itself is the focus of a critical subplot. As the sole trustee of his family's holdings, Clooney's character finds himself caught in merciless tug-of-war between a group of eager developers and his own greedy cousins. Such a protagonist has immediate appeal to a certain style of filmmaker, and that was definitely the case with Alexander Payne. "The novel appealed to me because it's an emotional story unfolding in an exotic locale," Payne says. "It's a story that perhaps could be told anywhere, but what made the book for me was its completely unique setting among the landed upper classes in Hawaii. It's very specific to this place, yet it is also universal." Although the Hawaiian land baron has little in common with another dubious character of Payne's creation — Paul Giamatti's wonderfully neurotic Miles in Sideways — both are clearly uncomfortable in their own skin. Likewise, as in Sideways, which celebrated the wine-growing districts of Santa Barbara County, the setting held enormous appeal for Payne. "On a filmmaking level, it was very interesting to me because I've never seen a filmic Honolulu. We see New York, Chicago, L.A., Miami, and Seattle, but this is a region we never see in films. There's a whole distinctive social fabric to life in Hawaii, and that intrigued me. I love films with a specific sense of place. I started making movies in Omaha, then I went to Santa Barbara, and now I have ended up in Hawaii," Payne says. The Descendants was filmed on Oahu, Hawaii, and Kauai. —Eric O'Keefe FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES Director Alexander Payne on set during filming of The Descendants . 2028 ac contiguous hardwood bottom along Castor Creek in Caldwell Parish, LA. Select cut timber over most of tract. Good deer & turkey hunting. Multiple points of legal access. No utilities. Can be divided. $1075 / ac. 500 ac premier duck & deer hunting tract north of Shreveport, LA in LaFayette county, AR. WRP is managed year-around for quality duck hunting. See website for incredible duck-kill records. Water control, wells, large pit blinds, great roads, highly managed area, food plots, deer stands. Caretaker available for management. $1,050,000 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 321 ac duck & deer hunting tract with 4 bedroom furnished lodge, equipment, blinds , stands, water control, well. Can sell without the lodge. $505,000 2 memberships at 3000 ac Riverland Plantation on MS river near Vicksburg, MS. Great deer hunting with amenities. $600,000 each. See website for many more listings. RecLand sells hunting land, timberland & farms in LA, AR, MS & TX. 318.281.4900 www.RecLand.net

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