When Your Life is Caught on Video, What Zoe.mp4 Captures on Tape Will Leave You Guessing!

In what makes Zoe.mp4 work is that it very nicely puts all of this character’s life in a container that’s over a fire, and it’s waiting to explode!

Zoe.mp4 movie posterMaking Its World Premiere at Whistler Film Festival on Nov 30. For tickets, please visit the link here.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Zoe.mp4 is the title. Most digital videos are encoded in either the mp4 container format or MKV; and to put anything into a digital document can be unsettling, since anyone can look at it in order to deconstruct whatever gets recorded by the device’s lens. Some say a camera can capture your soul, but what else can it do?

Zoe’s life isn’t picture-perfect. She has doubts about where her career is going, and Julia Sarah Stone excellently plays those fears up. We witness her journey and, when she gets kidnapped, also feel her discomfort. Although the choice to make the title character young is curious, perhaps that’s to make this film relatable for today’s generation. Not everyone knows what they want to do with their growth or find themselves capable of doing.

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Anime, TheNFB and the 2023 Vancouver Asian Film Festival – Top Animated Picks

We offer our top animated picks that’ll be playing this weekend at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival!

National Film Board of Canada LOGOThe 2023 Vancouver Asian Film Festival is taking place this weekend, and out of everything being offered this year, it’s their Animated Shorts Program that has my interest. That’s because the National Film Board of Canada is presenting two special shorts. Also, the anime Gonta: The Story of The Two-Named Dog in The Fukushima Disaster is playing at this event!

I’m tempted to head over to see the film and make a weekend out of being in the big city. While I’m still deciding, I should also mention two other works in the shorts’ presentation, including Bride’s Dream and Galactic Canine Space Force!

Thankfully, ahead of their BC premiere screening, I got to preview TheNFB’s works, and have a quick review. Disclaimer: beware of spoilers.

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Riding a Dark Horse Halloween with these Trio of Releases

The big reason why I love celebrating a Dark Horse Halloween is because they offer frightful stories that’s worth revisiting time and time again.

Dark Horse HalloweenThis publisher never fails to knock it out of the park with their themed All Hallow’s Eve releases, and I’m always excited to check out what they got every year. If there was a way to rename the tradition to a Dark Horse Halloween, I’ll be voting it in! Ever since they released The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings (2003), Witchcraft (2004), Dead (2005), Monsters (2006)–four different anthologies–to the market nearly two decades ago, and usually outside the season, I was hooked!

One of this publisher’s earliest specials, titled Drawing on Your Nightmares Halloween Special (2003), featured stories from Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Eric Powell, Brett Matthews, and many more. To track this publisher’s history with the coming of the All Hallow’s Eve is a joy, and I’m glad to learn they are going to release a regular anthology starting this year!

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Top 5 Genre Picks Playing at the Vancouver International Film Festival

This year’s Vancouver International Film Festival is looking terrific with its variety of genre films that’s being offered!

Vancouver International Film Festival Logo 2019The Vancouver International Film Festival has started, and they’ve added more genre films to their programming! It’s terrific that there’s more representation, but to stay true to their mission, it’s not anything that looks good, but it’s visions that can show the best genre movies can represent from an artistic perspective.

There’s not enough to form a top ten picks out of the thirteen titles, so what I offer is my top five, beginning with:

The Boy and the Heron Japanese Poster

The Boy and the Heron

Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki returns from retirement with an enchanting swansong, the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.

For those unable to attend these film festival screenings, there’s no need to worry. This movie is making it’s theatrical debut December 8, 2023 and it’s sure to sell out!

  • 6:30 pm Fri Oct 06 Vancouver Playhouse
  • 12:00 pm Sat Oct 07 Vancouver Playhouse

Robot Dreams Picture StillRobot Dreams

Living a solitary existence in Manhattan, Dog is tired of being alone, and builds his own friend: Robot. Their friendship blooms while exploring 1980s New York. This enchanting 2D animation brims with love, loss, and friendship.

  • 6:00 pm Mon Oct 02 The Rio Theatre
  • 3:45 pm Sat Oct 07 International Village 9

The Animal Kingdom Picture StillThe Animal Kingdom

In a world where mysterious mutations are gradually evolving humans into animal hybrids in an unpredictable and frightening way, a father tries to protect his 16-year-old son who is starting to acquire beastly characteristics.

  • 9:00 pm Sun Oct 08 The Rio Theatre

No Poster Available ICON STANDARDBitten

Françoise wakes up from an ominous dream that seems to foreshadow her imminent death. Not wanting to waste a minute of her remaining time, she consults her crystal pendulum and convinces her best friend Delphine to attend a mysterious costume party.

  • 6:30 pm Fri Sep 29 The Cinematheque
  • 8:30 pm Wed Oct 04 Vancity Theatre

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person Movie PosterHumanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

Meet Sasha, the world’s most compassionate young vampire. Her family is at their wits’ end with her refusal to embrace their lethal traditions and threaten to cut her off–until she meets a brooding boy hoping to end his life, and strikes a unique deal.

  • 9:00 pm, Sat Sep 30, The Rio Theatre
  • 8:15 pm, Mon Oct 02, International Village 9

The NFB at Vancouver Film Festival 2023. Premiering Four Special Works

Now that this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival is in full swing, we offer a list of what The NFB is presenting.

The NFB LogoThe NFB has four special works now playing at the 2023 Vancouver International Film Festival. 

First up is the feature-length documentary WaaPaKe: Tomorrow, directed by Vancouver-based filmmaker Dr. Jules Arita Koostachin. This work is important because of what was discovered years ago, bodies of children in unmarked graves by a normal school. The public outcry was huge, and to find answers, viewers will have to watch this.

From the Press Release: 

For generations, the suffering of residential school Survivors has radiated outward, affecting Indigenous families and communities. Children, parents, and grandparents have contended with the unspoken trauma, manifested in the lingering effects of colonialism: addiction, emotional abuse, and broken relationships.

In her efforts to help the children of Survivors, including herself and her family, Koostachin makes the hard decision to step in front of the camera and take part in the circle of truth. She is joined in this courageous act of solidarity by members of her immediate household, as well as an array of voices from Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. Moving beyond burying intergenerational trauma, WaaPaKe is an invitation to unravel the tangled threads of silence and unite in collective freedom and power.

Special to this year is an installation art piece of Meneath. It’ll be part of the VIFF Signals program and is based on Métis creator Terril Calder’s Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics, a winner of the New Voices Award at New York’s Tribeca Festival. For our review of this work, please visit this link.

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