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It’s Not Too Late to Undergo a Metamorphosis on Climate Change! An Interview

22 Jun

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Remaining Theatrical Dates

EDMONTON – June 22nd – Metro Cinema
VICTORIA – June 24th – Cinecenta
VANCOUVER – June 26th – Vancity Theatre

The art of film is not a lecture series, but rather, a term coined by film buffs to describe a cinematic experience. Velcrow Ripper is a well-respected filmmaker and activist whose past work speaks for itself. His most notable documentary is Scared Sacred, the first of a trilogy of films which examines hope against the backdrop of devastation. Whether that’s manmade with the bombing of Hiroshima or conspiracy in New York (9-11), his message of hope defines these works. Nova Ami was host, director, and writer of The Leading Edge on The Knowledge Network, a program which looked at technology and innovation. She also previously directed social issue documentaries that have aired on various broadcast networks including CBC’s Passionate Eye. These two are life partners and believe humanity has a future. Some folks think it’s too late to fix all that is wrong with this planet. But for these two, they believe there is another direction people can take to clean up the mess man made for itself.

The works they have created can be considered spiritual activism, where one of the tenets is to use nonviolent means to get a message across. “It’s a kind of activism that involves also thinking about how you create change in the world,” explained Ripper.
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Breaking Down Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

20 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers could not have expressed “Breakdown” any better and South Korean animator/director/storyteller Chang Hyung-yun illustrated it when he created Satellite Girl and Milk Cow. This work debuted in 2014, and its home video release by Shout! Factory / GKIDS for international audiences this month is long overdue. Not a lot of bonus material is included, and both the original and English dub was viewed. The latter presentation is decent, and it captures some nuances from the original work to make this work accessible for younger audiences to follow.

For animation aficionados, the technical quality is on par with many a cinematic product. It ranks right up there with many a Disney movie. For folklore enthusiasts, this work is puzzling at times and is not too hard to figure out. It draws on ancient shamanism to explain why witches and warlocks are prevalent in Korea. Less is said about those mortals who suddenly get transformed into anthropomorphic creatures. When they suffer heartache, a black fog descends upon them and they become shape-shifters. When Kyeong-cheon sees Eun-jin (his girlfriend) take an interest in another boy, he’s ready to call it quits than to ask her about it. As a result, whenever he is stressed and wallows in self-pity, he transforms into a milk cow. Alternative forms include zebras and donkeys.

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How Can The Incredibles 2 Be Topped?

16 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert!

Brad Bird‘s The Incredibles is a perfect send-up to many a past superhero comic. Not only does it explore familial issues (the core of what this franchise is about) but also it continues to examine the public perception of what kind of purpose do these Supers serve. The subplots introduced in the first film get further analysis, and the resolutions are far from being complete.

This second chapter does not get too deep with the whole “Gods and Monsters” aspect which defines many a DC film. To stay light-hearted needed this filmmaker’s magic touch. PIXAR’s mantra focuses on matters of the heart and togetherness instead of the difficult choices heroes have to make: Is it possible to save everyone from harm?

In the first movie, Mr. Incredible aka Bob Parr (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) yearned for those bygone days of simply saving the day. He has an ego the size of his heart. To do good is tough, and he’s not out to showboat. He wants to protect the little guy, but not everyone agrees to his method. The public despises superheroes because they can potentially cause more harm than good (somebody has to clean up the mess they leave behind), and only a handful of folks support them. He gets recruited to do good deeds but little did he know the peoples involved have their own agenda. The sequel flips the situation around by having Elastigirl / Helen (Holly Hunter) getting the adventure and seeing Bob at home, dealing with raising a nuclear family. The plot is a retread and it works well enough to highlight reversed gender roles. Bob gets to clean the dishes at home and Molly gets to be Mrs. Fantastic.

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The Life, Times and Advances in Puppetry with Mike Quinn

14 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Mike Quinn is a man of many cinematic trades—a talent mentored by Jim Henson and Frank Oz—and he sees a bright future for puppetry, a style of performance theatre. His passion for it predates meeting these two icons and he is fully aware of its rich history. At an early age, he staged his own live puppet shows for family and friends, and he was always encouraged to pursue his dreams.

This form of entertainment can be traced back to the days of early man. Some simply manipulated the stuffed dolls with their hands and others took the form further, like to have a light source cast upon them so their shadows are projected upon a larger surface. This technique not only helped make them become larger than life but also create a mystique to enthral many a viewer. Quinn is well aware of the many styles of puppetry that can be used to tell a story. In the 90’s, his shift to work behind the camera showed his passion also included directing. He worked on many a TV pilot in the UK and said Mira Mara was one program where he brought in skilled shadow puppeteers to perform while a human actress was regaling fantastic tales to a cast of puppets. It went to full series production, was filmed throughout Wales and Scotland, and was broadcast in Gaelic speaking countries.

“I think this style is a very poetic and abstract artistic way of doing visuals. I also enjoy watching a different form known as bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre). You have three people working a full figure on a tabletop. They are usually seen behind the puppet, sometimes dressed in black, partially visible … they study forever to be very precise. It’s incredible!” observed Quinn.

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