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An Interview with Denver Jackson & Esluna: Crown of Babylon’s World Debut!

6 Oct

Babylon_press_kit (1)-6

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Denver Jackson is the creative mind behind a techno-fantasy world that he can uniquely call his own. Esluna: The First Monolith is a standalone work that introduces Maeve Riverflare, a relic hunter, to the world. This nine episode series is available on YouTube, and received a few national awards for best digital series made (Blood in Snow Festival) and a Leo Awards nomination for direction. He also has a solid team of friends, like Mark Junker (musician), Daniel Hogg (producer) and the voice actors (see below for credits) to back him in his many projects.

Next is Esluna: The Crown of Babylon and its set to play at various film festivals like Vancouver’s Spark Animation (Oct 28 to Nov 7th) and Sitges Festival in Spain (Oct 7 to 17th). Catching the prior series is not required for newcomers, but this director said there’s a few nods here and there for those followers of his work.

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Maika Loubté’s Show Me How Remix Now Available!

22 Sep

人, 屋内, 女性, 食品 が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

Tokyo based singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Maika Loubté has a brand new remix! “Show Me How” is now available, starting today, to stream and view.

This ethereal take maintains the similar emotion of the original track, while giving it a new life by adding light, youthful, and percussive energy. Kan Sano, a keyboardist, remixer, and producer has worked with many artists across Japan and he is regarded as one of the most important figures in the country’s music scene today.  

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Three Shining Ways to Celebrate Moon Festival!

20 Sep

Over the Moon (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Moon Festival is nearly here in North America! It’s already started in China, and this annual mid-autumn event is big. Pandemic or not, close-knit families are likely to gather to observe the moon and give thanks much like the American holiday of Thanksgiving. The tradition came about circa 17th century and it only gained in popularity since. It’s also considered to be the second most important holiday in the Chinese calender (1) and some make the time a three-day celebration! I plan on catching three specific films to respect this aspect of the event.

Another aspect is ritualistic. This includes burning incense and releasing candle lit lanterns so they will float up into the night sky like an air balloon. The best made ones with a carefully hidden helium baloon can float up very high to resemble stars.

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PLAYISM to livestream & spotlight up-and-coming videogames!

18 Sep
PLAYISM (@playismEN) | TwitterSept. 25, 2021 at
3:00 AM EDT
9:00 AM CEST
4:00 PM JST
PLAYISM, Japan’s oldest indie game publisher, renowned for some of the most anticipated upcoming titles and popular recent releases including Bright Memory: Infinite, Gnosia and Mighty Goose, announces the second annual PLAYISM Game Show: Premium Edition (PGS). This live event will include world premieres and all-new information for both upcoming and previously-released games in both English and Japanese on YouTube.
PGS is where this company will showcase titles that will take part in the Tokyo Game Show (TGS), Asia’s premier video game event. The show will also feature announcements for the upcoming Bright Memory: Infinite, along with updates on Gnosia, Record of Lodoss War -Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-, The Sealed Ampoule, and many more.

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Aiming for the Top! The Witches of the Orient: Documentary Review

14 Sep

The Witches of the Orient (2021) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Cinematheque
1131 Howe Street
Vancouver BC

Sept 16-19, 22
(please check link for showtimes)
Playing online: September 16–29

The Witches of the Orient is a deceptive title. Unless you are reading the plot teaser, you won’t know this sports film is about the triumphs of the 1964 Japanese Olympic volleyball team. These ladies who are still living today fondly recall their glory days, their training, and how they feel (past and present) about their achievement. Most of them were workers at a textile factory in Kaizuka, Japan, and in some ways, the title is about the magical connection they’ve formed during their training to aim for the top, Gunbuster style. Though this anime is about giant robots and excelling in the battlefield, the title is inspired from older sports cartoons. The aesthetic of a getting a group of ladies fully trained by a determined coach shows why the narrative is familiar. The real life Olympic team had to deal with the demanding Hirofumi Daimatsu.  

Technically, their competitors saw them as Oriental Witches. Instead of taking it as a derogatory statement, the Japanese team took it as a term of endearment. They weren’t upset either. I suspect they were fussing over how they’ve stayed true to themselves. As they toured the world in exhibition matches, we can see why they are a finely tuned and fierce team on the volleyball field.

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