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Hunting for The Missing Link in Studio Laika’s Latest

8 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Studio Laika always impresses. Their catalogue of works always offers insightful looks into the human condition. More often than not, they explore aspects of the supernatural world in relation to mankind. Missing Link considers what drives certain individuals to become what they are. This film suggests what makes homo sapiens superior to other forms of life, and when Charles Darwin is involved, it’s not always about survival of the fittest. Are they doing it for themselves to raise their self-esteem, or something else?

Enter wannabe world-renowned explorer Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman in his best British accent than Australian). He’s chasing after cryptids and he wants to join the prestigious Optimates Club. However, Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry) thinks all such creations are pish-posh; he believes mankind is superior and is supposed to dominate.

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Flying Higher and Higher with Tito and the Birds

22 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Tito and the Birds is a Brazilian animated movie that transcends. His avian friends are everywhere, and they symbolize a higher power he immediately recognizes. The alien rocks (that were once human) he finds are bumps on a log for a reason…

Praise is high for this work, and it will soon land on home video on April 23 courtesy of Shout! Factory.

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Invisible Essence: The Little Prince Continues to Inspire with Further Screenings

10 Apr

Image result for invisible Essence: The Little Prince netflixBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Existentialism is a big word. But for 76 years, for a readership barely old enough to read, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has conveyed the importance of asking who we are, what connects us to others, and how we should live. I saw this work not too long ago, during the 2019 Victoria Film Festival, and quite enjoyed it (see review here) and it continues to inspire, getting a theatrical screening in Vancouver, BC, on April 19th.

Charles Officer’s acclaimed documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince looks beyond what the story of a stranded aviator who encounters an elegant alien child in the Sahara means. This documentary explores the global legacy of The Little Prince 75 years after its publication. It weaves the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s extraordinary biography with fascinating discussions from key sections of the book, exploring the many ways life and art can reflect upon one another in curious ways. And in telling the author’s own story of a child who suffered the loss of a father and beloved brother, and who found “himself” as an aviator for the French air-mail company Aeropostale, flying alone over no man’s lands.

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To Wax Philosophy or Sociology in A Silent Voice, Where Forth Art Thou?

31 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

A Silent Voice is coming to home video in North America on April 2nd courtesy of Shout! Factory. This movie based on Yoshitoki Ōima’s manga of the same name arrived at Japanese theatres back in late 2016, toured film festivals the subsequent year and took a rest period before getting a localized release. The extras in the region one issue are the same as the Japanese, meaning music videos and trailers (no directors commentary was made). I would love to hear about the challenges of adapting the longer printed material to film, and that can still be offered if a special edition release is being considered for later.

Life was tough for young Shōya Ishida. As he looks ready to commit suicide, other forces are at work to show life is not completely hopeless. He made mistakes. He realizes how they have affected the lives of others and himself. He seeks amends. Back in elementary school, he had a cadre of pals–Naoka Ueno, Miki Kawai, and Kazuki Shimada–but he never fully understood what friendship entailed. When his class gets a new student, Shōko Nishimiya, her disability made her a target for jokes, and he was amongst those who bullied her. They made her life difficult because she is deaf.

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