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Dead Pigs is Not Your Typical Chinese New Year Movie

7 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dead Pigs
may sound like an unusual title for a movie to kick off Chinese New Year on its Victoria Film Festival screening Feb 4th, but it’s a well-meaning work which looks at the idiosyncrasies behind a dysfunctional family trying to survive in a modern China. In Shanghai, Candy Wang (Vivian Wu) and her elder “Old Man Wang” brother (Yang Haoyu) do not see eye to eye over their old family home. It is destined to be torn down because everything else in the old neighbourhood is gone. The Golden Happiness Project claim to improve the lives of everyone, including the impoverished, for the better is falling on a lot of deaf ears–but at what cost? Money cannot buy everything, especially when concerning preserving memories.

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All those ‘Invisible Essences’ which defines The Little Prince

5 Feb

Image result for invisible Essence: The Little Prince netflixBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Also available on Netflix and Discovery Channel Canada

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s most recognized work is a timeless tale and to learn about the man and meaning of this tale is nicely explored in the documentary simply titled Invisible Essence: The Little Prince. This work can be found to view online, but for me, I had to see it during the 2019 Victoria Film Festival, to enjoy seeing the artwork come to life on the big screen. With the dream-like watercolour images splashed on that canvas and ink dots denoting a lost innocence, I was captivated by the details of not only the illustrations but also in how this author would come to write this seminal tale.

Not only does this film explores new reactions to this story but also it gets anecdotal by those who knew this creator’s life. The balancing of these two narratives made for a lengthy examination and the payoff, in the end, is simply in understanding both the author and his story more.

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Changing Faces with Asako I & II

5 Feb

Image result for asako i & iiBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Remaining shows at the Victoria Film Festival
February 5 | 9:15 PM | Capital 6
Victoria, BC

Presented by The Japan Foundation.
Tickets available online or at the door.

Idealized romances are a figment of the Hollywood imagination. To find that one true love is a subject for plenty of films, and in Asako I & II, this strange title suggests the title character (played with naïve innocence by Erika Karata) will see plenty of change in her life. She’s a doting figure who falls for Baku (Masahiro Higashide) like the best romantic tale from the golden age of cinema, complete with fireworks, and this drifter gives this film a plot.

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Getting Funky with Lu Over the Wall, A DVD Review

3 Feb

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Releases Feb 5, 2019

The home video release of Lu Over the Wall by Shout! Factory and GKIDS is right around the corner and one of the two bonus features includes an interview with director Masaaki Yuasa and producer Eunyoung Choi. Fans can hear about how he felt when this anime won the top prize at the 2017 Annecy International Film Festival. The audio commentary is even better as it discusses the creative process behind this movie. At first, they thought of introducing a vampire and thankfully changed their minds. They also discussed how integral the music had to be. In between wanting to craft a supernatural tale, the emphasis on Kai (Kanon Tani) had to be important.

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