Tag Archives: Biography

The Pulps, Russell Mulcahy and In Like Flynn on VOD

22 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Amazon PRIME
Released by Blue Fox Entertainment

Amongst Gen Xers, Russell Mulcahy is a very recognizable name. He’s the directorial talent who brought Highlander (1985) and The Shadow (1994) to life. With works like Tale of the Mummy (1998), Mysterious Island (2005) and The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior (2008), fans can surmise he has a love for the pulps. The visual narrative he offers in this genre makes him the ideal choice to direct In Like Flynn, a biopic about the life of Errol Flynn before he went to Hollywood and became world famous. When he got the call, he was on a jet to Australia faster than this miscreant can down a shot of old whiskey.

Although many actors played Robin Hood over the years, the big question is which actor was the most memorable? Everyone agrees it’s Erroll, hands down. His life story made him perfect for not only this role–like Robert Downey Jr did with Iron Man–but also as Captain Blood. According to Mulcahy, he came to define more than one generation of the action hero status quo; he stuck to playing swashbuckling roles for most of the early part of his career. Also, Warner Brothers gave him no choice when he expressed interest in other kinds of roles later in life.

In what this director did not know about the man, the team of writers–Corey Large, Marc Furmie, Steve M. Albert and Luke Flynn (grandson)–helped explain. While this movie does not reveal everything you want to know but was afraid to ask, thankfully this actor has his memoirs (namely My Wicked, Wicked Ways) to sate those salacious appetites. To find the right person to play Errol wasn’t too hard.

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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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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

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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