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[Fantasia 2019] Astronaut is What Dreams Are Made Of

19 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* North American Premiere at 2019 Fantasia Film Festival.
* Opens theatrically July 26 (select cities)

Richard Dreyfuss is the Astronaut in Shelagh McLeod’s debut movie about old age, dreaming big, faith, and making it into the stars. This actor is well known for such classics, namely Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both movies helped prepare him to take on a tale about not slowing down.

This actor deserves award recognition for his performance. Angus’ (Dreyfuss) desire to keep going is much like how Sammy Hagar inspires with Van Halen’s song, “Dreams.” Although he is in the twilight of his years, he does not want to be put in the pasture. His grandson Barney (Richie Lawrence) knows it. They also both love stargazing and enjoy talking shop. When considering the elder was a civil engineer, he knows a lot of science relatable to how the universe works, life and everything else. No, the answer is not 42. Nor should it be a marker to gauge against in achieving life’s goals.

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[Fantasia 2019] Akane’s in Wonderland, A Movie Review

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Akane’s (Mayu Matsuoka) life may seem boring, if not downright depressing in Keiichi Hara‘s The Wonderland (バースデー・ワンダーランド). Her birthday is coming up and she should be happy. When she’s asked to visit Aunt Chii (Anne Watanabe) on the other side of town just to pick up her own celebratory gift, it’s a safe bet her world is going to be turned upside down. The tones this film borrows from Lewis Carroll’s work cannot go unnoticed.

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The Vintage Tempest’s Picks of the Fantasia International Film Festival 2019

15 Jul

Image result for fantasia film festival 2019Runs: July 11 – August 1st
Montreal, Quebec

The Fantasia International Film Festival is in full swing, taking place in Montreal, Quebec with plenty of works to view and a wonderful look into all things fantastic. The genres also include horror, science-fiction and drama. In this show, the focus is on the extraordinary, hence the name. I encourage anyone who loves these genres to come to this show and see the world premieres that take place here.

Of particular note is a premiere screening of Shelagh McLeod’s Astronaut (review coming) starring Richard Dreyfuss. Arielle Dombasle’s Crystal Palace is a French production which only some can describe–a hallucinatory experience, a kitsch and camp kaleidoscope with surrealist dialogue and cardboard costumes (literally), all with a dash of meta-cinema. I’m particularly excited for the release of Takahiro Umehara’s The Moon in the Hidden Woods which blends steampunk, Korean folk styles and otherworldly fantasy into a tale of a world bereft of a lunar guardian. Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s Night God is said to be a waking nightmare, an unknowable maze of gigantic moving paintings, reminding one at times of the painter Carel Willink.

But it’s not the movies that defines a show. The huge list of shorts showcase the imagination of many a new filmmaker. Swiss animator Nils Hedinger’s Kuap looks like it may borrow from Hayao Miyazaki in narrative, Simon Beaupré’s Evil James Bond vs World War Z is a must for those who love crazy crossover ideas. Those who love Chinese folklore should look at Wan Jinyue and Du Jinzhi‘s The Girl and the Serpent.

The list does not end here. From the press release:

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It’s a Divine Rhapsody with Queen + Adam Lambert!

13 Jul

QUEENVANCOUVER-SMALLBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Queen + Adam Lambert Rhapsody Tour
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
July 10th, 2019

The biopic Bohemian Rhapsody did more than reignite interest in the music of Queen. Not only was it a cursory glance at the life and times of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer but also it gave a bit of insight to how a few of their best known tracks were composed. Some fans complained about it not being the story they wanted. This movie took a very long time to get developed and I’m certain many arguments between producers and actors took place over what to focus on; ultimately the story had to end on a high note than be a reminder of a life cut short.

Anyone who has followed this band knows Roger Taylor and Brian May kept busy with many other projects. They weren’t ready to say if their band is fully retired or not. They tried a comeback with Paul Rogers but I felt that team-up did not work. Their collaboration with Adam Lambert was fortuitous; he has the vocal range and the flamboyance to remind us of Freddie but yet be his own unique presence. Lambert put his own stamp to Queen’s tunes and reminds us in every tour that he’s not out to recreate. He is honoured to be part of this lineup and says it every performance, otherwise the detractors will jump on him.

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