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The NFB Takes on Annecy with Animal Behavior & More!

19 Apr

National Film Board of Canada

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The National Film Board of Canada is getting ready to take on Annecy International Animation Film Festival with five shorts going into competition. This event takes place in France from June 11 to 16th, and is considered by many as a great event to premiere unique animated works. This year, they are honouring Brazilian animation and music in this art form will be the spotlight. Fantasia and Allegro non Tropo are classic works, and to learn the composers behind them will be talking about the process will make for a nice contrast to the sneak peaks I have seen from the NFB.

Filmmakers Alison Snowden and David Fine have a screening of Animal Behaviour (Zoothérapie), and it has a sweet charm to it that I like. This team is better known for the celebrated Bob and Margaret, and I am very reminded of the same type of humour in their short. The series follows the lives of these titular characters in a mundane manner and by the end of an episode, the feelings that emerge are from 70’s TV show, Happy Days. Viewers are simply left smiling. With the short, caricatures of today’s concerns can be found. Are we truly in control of our lives? Cheryl, the praying mantis, has boyfriend problems; Lorraine, a leech, suffers from separation anxiety; Todd, a pig, has an eating disorder, Jeffrey, a bird, has pangs of guilt; and Linda is an obsessive-compulsive cat.

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It’s Supernatural! (Highlights from Creation Con in Bellevue)

13 Apr

By Sandy Sheehan (Guest Post)
(Photos used with Permission and are copyright)

Creation Entertainment is best known for hosting and having exclusive guests from certain television shows, namely Xena, Warrior Princess and Star Trek. I have been to a handful of The Next Generation events back when they were young and they have come a long way from simply spotlighting one or two stars and showing a blooper reel. These days, they are focussing on Supernatural, Riverdale and Stranger (to name a few). This for-profit company differs from most other similar events and non-profit conventions such that it tours. Most casual fans are turned off by the high price of a pass, and it is tiered (the more you pay, the better access you get). Unlike non-profit conventions, the vendor area (at least at the Seattle conventions) are minuscule, except, for the huge tables full of photos to be signed and some fandom related items.

Since they currently have the monopoly on Sam and Dean Winchester from The CW’s Supernatural, I have been to the last two they had in Seattle, WA (technically it was Bellevue). Plenty of fans go this show multiple times, and the consensus is that Seattle was the best, mostly due to the smaller size.

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Will There Be More Sailor Moon Musicals after Le Mouvement Final in North America?

9 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

North American or Japanese, musicals must be seen live. When it is not possible to attend either due to location or cost, sometimes the next best thing is to see it at the movies. Whether that’s with a remote broadcast or adaptation, these shows rarely disappoint. When paired with a pop culture phenomenon, especially Sailor Moon, visions of New York Radio City’s The Rockettes style performances come to mind. Just do not tell the Sailor Senshi. They may go on a tirade. This particular series is retelling the manga by Naoko Takeuchi and they been playing in Japan for over two decades. The story arcs are expanded upon and even goes into bold new directions. Not every Japanese pop culture enthusiast may know this subgenre. To keep track of everything from Japan means having both ears to the ground. Officially, only the soundtracks exist and bootleg videos are a grey area. The first overseas performance was in 2015 in Shanghai, and the North American premiere of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical—Le Mouvement Final, presented as a pre-recorded performance, started late last month. Screening made its way to Cineplex Theatres Canada last week.

I am very thankful CineLife Entertainment for overseeing an international distribution; more screenings are being added, and I suspect this video tour is still rolling out.

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Capital City Comic Con Recap & What’s Next in Victoria, BC

20 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The reports are in – Capital City Comic Con in Victoria, BC is a resounding success! Many attendees, myself included, enjoyed the vibe which flowed throughout the three days and my biggest concern was in how well the lines of people are managed. Overall, it went very smoothly. Smaller events mean shorter waits, and during the times I visited the celebrity guest section, the crowds were never overwhelmingly big. Even the talents who attended appreciated the relaxed atmosphere. All of this positive attitude means this event will continue for years to come.

Patrick Warburton was outspoken about what he and fellow guests thought about this city and well managed this show was during his Q&A.

One detail I have to get off my chest is when I hear talk about (this) Comic-Con. I often jokingly say back “Which one?” This event needs its own code to distinguish it. 4C is the unofficial shorthand name (C4 is Winnipeg’s show). For me, a veteran of the convention scene, Comic-Con is the San Diego, California event. They own the name, sad to say. and the fight over ownership was brutal.

This garden city event was a very relaxed one on Friday. Unlike the huge shows which have a lot to take in, I often have to pick one aspect to focus on and miss the rest. At ECCC, I do not have the time to diverge to play Magic the Gathering or enjoy any role-playing events. With three days, maybe I could. With 4C, I entered a model building contest, caught a bunch of pokemon (yes, I’m still playing that game) in a timed event, played a miniatures battle game (more on this later), talked to one of the guests at length (Mike Quinn is wonderful and multifaceted) and went to a handful of panels. I was not here to shop. When I do, I go to larger nerd celebrations to seek out the elusive than exclusive.

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