Tag Archives: Biography

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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Breaking down the Biopic: Bohemian Rhapsody

4 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The songs from Queen make up how the biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, flows than the life of the frontman. Quite often, musicians sing about those experiences in life considered very important to them. In this work, they are wrapped around how Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek) face reality. Is he a Great Pretender, or something else? I was amused at how this non-Queen song is slyly referenced within minutes of the film’s start. The precedent is set.

In musicals, the tunes help bookend key themes. In a movie partly directed by Bryan Singer and finished by Dexter Fletcher is in how this lead singer comes to face life in his rise to stardom. Important in this work is in how the introduction sees this lad of Indian descent, now living in Britain, deals with living on his own, “Somebody to Love,” is the first track heard. When young Bulsara does not want to become part of the family business (much less his heritage), he’s ready to move out. The early 70s was a time when the music scene exploded in many ways. Many talents we consider legends today were just getting started.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2018] Confessions of an Operatic Muse, A Review

29 Aug

Location: 
VCM Wood Hall
917 Pandora Avenue
*Victoria, BC

Remaining shows:
Sat Sept 1-9pm
Sun Sept 2-8:15pm

* Spoiler Alert

Canadian Comedy Award recipient Briane Nasimok had quite the life. His play, Confessions of an Operatic Mute is very autobiographical, and this playwright told me he does want to set this performance into a book. From a very young age of 8, he fell in love with theatre. He is perhaps best known as Ambrogio in The Barber of Seville when it played at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. This character did not sing. His talent is unique such that in opera, mutes are essentially movie extras. Thankfully, he has done other work in the entertainment industry. Other credits include writing for YTV’s Uh Oh!

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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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