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From TIFF to OIAF to ImagineNATIVE w TheNFB’s The Hidden Island of Ethics

16 Sep

Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics (2021) - Official HD TrailerBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Official Selection at
Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 9-18)
Ottawa International Animation Festival (Sept 22-Oct 3)
imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (Oct 19-24)

Please check links for showtimes

Anyone who has followed the media reports about the discovery of a mass grave on the grounds of a residential school in Kamloops, BC, may find Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics disturbing. Children from local tribes were plucked away from their families because someone thought it was best to teach them a different way of life. These places were operated by the Catholic Church, and it didn’t change hands until much later. The Canadian Government never knew what went on, and was left holding the bag.

This stop motion animated work by Terril Calder is evocative, powerful and moving. The story she constructed is an eerie look at what may have happened back then. Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in this tale.

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Many Myths Are Abound in Saint Narcisse

16 Sep

Saint-Narcisse (2020) Canadian movie posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Vancity Theatre beginning Sept 17, 2021 (please click link for showtimes)
1181 Seymour St
Vancouver, BC

Knowing who Bruce LaBruce is as a maverick storyteller can prepare those new to his world on what to expect. This avant-garde filmmaker is known for his very explicit sexually charged style and his movies are often about gays rather than the blending of pop culture genres. Not everyone will want to watch his take on zombies and vampires. His latest, Saint-Narcisse, is his spin on a well known Grecian myth with a dash of horror and delight added on top.

This film is an amusing expansion on the story of Narcissus. Dominic (Félix-Antoine Duval) is obsessed with his looks. He had enough sexual encounters with both genders, but after meeting a female Cyclops of sorts, he can’t help but feel something dreadful is coming. He doesn’t know who the phantom face he sees is. He’s haunted by it. Eventually, he’ll visit the sleepy town of Saint-Narcisse de-Beaurivage in Quebec to get answers.

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The Shadow in the Water, a Different Kind of Shark Tale

8 Sep

shadowVictoria Fringe Festival

Showtimes:
Sep 8, 2021 – Sep 12, 2021

Metro Studio Theatre
111 Quadra St.
Victoria, BC

Tickets can be bought in advance here.

Anyone who knows Peter Schilling’s music video of his hit single, “Major Tom,” may well get the shivers when learning about Mary’s life in David Elendune’s The Shadow in the Water. She’s coming home alright, but not in a way I would immediately suspect.

This story billed as a tale of love, loss and sharks is a deceptive tease. I’m thinking it’s about sailing into the mystic, Van Morrison style. This octogenarian is recounting moments about her life to Sharon. I assume this younger character is a caretaker sent to check in on this senior–who is listening to the broadcast of the Apollo 11 landing at the start of the play. Bits of this landmark moment in human history plays out throughout the show, and it’s highly suggestive that eventually, Mary’s time will come to “go home.” 

Instead, Mary is lost in her own memories. She wants someone to know everything she’s done since before the night fades away.

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Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, A Movie Review

8 Sep

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings poster.jpegWuxia movies are a dime a dozen. To stand out requires a proper vision. Somehow Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (SCLotR) lack the sense of feeling like an Asian film. It’s produced by Chinese-Americans, who are probably two generations removed from their heritage. Instead of earning their wings on some feudal period piece for television in Shanghai (or Hong Kong), they only have the approval of Disney to produce this piece.

This film begins nicely enough, with bits from Jackie’s Chan’s The Myth and Forbidden Kingdom mixed in, but somehow in the tale’s progression, it turns into something like a Black Widow type of film.

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When A Horse’s “Spirit” Goes from “Untamed” to Trained

4 Sep

Spirit: Untamed | JB Hi-FiBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

DreamWorks Entertainment
Available on Streaming Platforms, Home Video
Amazon USA Purchase Link

DreamWorks Spirit has a sequel, and viewers don’t need to know the Netflix series or past iterations to enjoy the latest release. The CGI animated update certainly reveals how this franchise has evolved with the times. It’s a different beast when compared to Stallion of the Cimarron (2002). They are all set in the Wild West–even though many years have passed between story to story. This latest focuses on the girl attempting to tame a horse, who conveniently shows his independence, and establishes a relationship with.

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