Following the success of Hecho a Mano: Creativity in Exile, our Emmy®-winning film about Cuban artists living in Miami, PBS affiliate WLRN has commissioned another documentary from the Common Machine team: Plastic Paradise, an hour-long look at tiki culture. Also known as Polynesian Pop, tiki was huge in the 1950s and ‘60s — think South Pacific, candy-colored, rum-infused cocktails with names like the Shrunken Skull and the Missionary’s Downfall, crazy Hawaiian shirts, exotica music, and a nonstop party scene inhabited by self-styled nonconformists.
To the surprise of many, tiki survives in the present day as an underground hipster subculture stretching from coast-to-coast. Crafted cocktails, Hawaiian shirts, and exotica remain de rigueur among Polynesian Pop adherents, as does an annual pilgrimage to Fort Lauderdale’s famed Mai-Kai Restaurant (one of the last great holdovers from tiki’s golden age—waterfalls, Polynesian floor show, and all).
Plastic Paradise will explore this fascinating scene, and the folks who’ve kept it going all these years. (Like our friend, King Kukulele.)
Look for Plastic Paradise on the festival circuit and PBS affiliates nationwide in 2013.