Reading Mokoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” as a Monomyth

25 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Plenty of praise and examinations have been given to Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name since its debut last year. Although this film is essentially a romantic comedy, I was more enamoured with the mythic elements. This filmmaker took the best from other cultural traditions and wrote a Twilight Zone style story which I liked. This movie has an East clashing with the West attitude. It shows when Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi), a young girl from a rural part of Japan, yearns for a life in modern Tokyo and makes the mistake of wishing upon a falling star.

She wanted to shirk cultural traditions and from there, I knew where this film was going. Since classical times, spotting such a fireball was often feared more than regarded as divine intervention. If a prayer is said upon seeing it, just what happens can go any which way. In this film’s case, both are considered!

Comet Tiamat is getting closer to the Earth and it is the raison d’être for how this tale comes together. She’s not always a creation goddess but is also representative of primordial chaos. This chunk of rock and ice could have been given any name, and some viewers may wonder why this Babylonian figure is used? My theory is that this name was chosen to make viewers of this anime aware that this film is a shōjo product through and through. Her essence is everywhere. From the Earth to the Heavens, in the offerings at the shrine and coming visible at twilight, a sense of omnipotence can be felt as she comes closer to Earth affecting the main character, Miyamizu-chan.

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[Trailer] May the Force Be with “Mom and Me” Beginning May 5th

23 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Mother’s Day is not until May 14th, and for some families, they go all out to pay tribute to the matriarch of the family. Some moms may do what they do raising their children out of how they were raised and others only want the best. Mother and Me is a very moving documentary by writer-director Ken Wardrop and it will see its premiere May 5th in theaters and on VOD.

The Hollywood Reporter describes this product as “nicely judged mirror on life and feelings,” and FilmIreland says this film “captures the universal experience of motherly love perfectly.”

From Liberty Talk Radio, Joe Cristiano explores how the manliest men from the manliest state in the Union, Oklahoma, feel about their mothers. He gets them to call in to talk about their relationship with their moms on air, and in what this documentary shows, there’s bound to be surprises that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

No, The Lost City of Z is not about Zombies! An Analysis & Review

21 Apr

the_lost_city_of_z_28film29By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The Lost City of Z
is one of those rare films which does not glamorize the pulps, where exploring the world means danger in every turn! Many old-time radio shows over dramatize these stories so listeners are invested to tune in next week, and not many — at least to my knowledge — lay the world grounded in reality. They are more like heroic fiction than anything else. When considering this biography takes place circa 1912 and spans nearly two decades, there’s a lot of ground to cover.

This film written and directed by James Gray does a fantastic job of detailing the life of adventurer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) from his days of being an intrepid socialite to explorer to soldier (and back), and his conflict with “high society” which led to whether or not he is accepted amongst his peers because of something his father did. Ultimately, this film is about father and son relationships instead of seeing how Nina (Sienna Miller) stayed devoted to him. Some may say he is out carousing through jungles in search for a lost city and fighting in World War I as a means of escape. He knew he had a duty to his country than to his family, and while the latter plight gets explored to a tiny degree, I doubt a full look at his family life could have been done. Sacrifice had to be made to emphasize which narrative matters. In this movie’s case, the various conflicts tends to focus on matters of male ego, especially when he has a rival of sorts in the Royal Geographical Society.

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Rating He-Man & The Masters of the Universe Compendium

19 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Everything you ever wanted to know about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MoTU and She-Ra too) can be found in A Character Guide and World Compendium (available to preorder on Amazon), due to hit shelves May 10th. This voluminous tome is perfectly organized into sections to make finding information quick, and the fact the entries are further subdivided, based on either the toy-line, comics or animated series, makes for a great way for fans of this franchise to keep the facts straight!

Of course, I had to read the entry for Skeletor and The Sorceress right away. The sheer amount of information found for these two is staggering, and I love the dedication the research team put forth to collect images from various sources (including foreign adaptations) and photograph (i.e. the toys) to include. Even though some of the information can be found online at a wiki source, there’s something to this atlas which makes for a great conversation piece among nerds. The bonus of ownership is that this codex is reasonably priced.

While it will take time to read through all the entries in prep before a game of MoTU Trivial Persuit, I’m ready!

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