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R.I.P. The Mummy (1999-2008) Retrospective

5 May

the_mummyBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Before Stephen Sommers version of The Mummy gets fully buried in the wake of the upcoming 2017 film next month, I have to fondly recall the elements that I enjoyed from this past iteration. The 1999 film was heavily inspired by the pulps. Although its star, Rick O’Connell (played by Brendan Fraser) would gladly let his son Alex keep the world at peace, I do not think a consortium existed to help develop the continuity needed for the spin-off material.

If that was the case, I imagine the character of Anubis would play an important role throughout the entire saga instead of being a background character for the first two movies. He is the god of death, and before Osiris landed in the Underworld and succeeded to the role, was in control of many a person’s fate should anyone die within his domain, the land of Egypt.

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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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Getting the Most out of Life with Some Bunny Loves You – Tour Dates & Interview

5 Apr

jesse thomBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Jesse Thom is a talented performer who not only recently published his debut children’s book, Some Bunny Loves You, but also is a busy musician. He’s a member of a few bands and also a solo artist. The Honey Tongues is a gypsy, folk-rock alternative group and Daemon & Airdrie is an electronic musical duo. Between the various types of shows he performs in as he travels the breadth of North America and beyond, life can be stressful. He’s a meditation coach who also needs time to relax. Sometimes, all it takes is a return to basics, to a time when he found peace, or rather with a creation which helped set him on a creative path.

From April 7th to May 22nd, he will be like a Traveling Wilbury, taking his puppet show (based on his book) through parts of Vancouver Island and the Greater Vancouver Mainland area before hitting the musical stage and performing behind the curtain again. Stops include the Garden City of Victoria to which he is from and details can be found on his website. I’m willing to bet a break will still be needed for this performer to re-energize like a particular battery bunny mascot before he embarks on another musical odyssey.

“As with any success, I’m just going to honour the path that forms,” revealed Thom, “I listen to my heart, and listen what the audience wants and I provide what seems to be wanted and needed.”

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Does the Bare Necessities Reveal a Grizzly Truth? – An Interview with Tom Reissmann

30 Mar

TGT_20x30_final
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Available to view on demand on Vimeo
starting March 30th. 2017

Whether created by animation or live-action, the great bear has come to symbolize one of several things. As a symbol of strength and courage — or perhaps a constellation you see on the night sky — this animal’s importance to nature and in a grander a cosmic scheme must never go unnoticed. In the cartoon world, we have beloved characters like Yogi the Bear (created by Hanna-Barbera in 1958) and Baloo from Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967) / Tail Spin (1990). Jump ahead a little more than a decade, this studio made Brother Bear (2003) which looked at how man should respect nature and understand tolerance. The main character, Kenai, was transformed into a bear, and had to learn for himself why this animal is so revered within his tribe. In Haida culture, this gentle creature is known as the “Elder Kinsman” and is treated as a noble guest instead of a thief because it stole from the river, which also provided sustenance to the locals.

If only the people who hunt them can treat and think of these gentle creatures the same way. In this documentary, the hunters sort of say they do, but that’s for the viewer to decide. I was offered the opportunity to get a sneak preview of a very thought-provoking and insightful program. It looks the role this animal and where it stands within different organizations. From the hunter’s perspective to governmental and First Nations, everybody has an opinion on a hot political topic in this year’s British Columbia election: to finally ban grizzly bear hunting. They are sought after more often as trophys these days, which is sad. For those just wanting to take a snapshot, it it even helpful to the local economy? A lot is said to view the pros and cons of both, and this film nicely walks the fine line than lean towards a specific stance.

In Africa, the lion is said to be on top of the food chain. In North America, it is the bear. Destroy the alpha, and there will be problems. This fact and many other details are revealed in this documentary that’s now available online to view. And writer/director Tom Reissmann had other facts to reveal about the making of this film:

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