Tag Archives: Comedy

Reading Mokoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” as a Monomyth

25 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Plenty of praise and examinations have been given to Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name since its debut last year. Although this film is essentially a romantic comedy, I was more enamoured with the mythic elements. This filmmaker took the best from other cultural traditions and wrote a Twilight Zone style story which I liked. This movie has an East clashing with the West attitude. It shows when Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi), a young girl from a rural part of Japan, yearns for a life in modern Tokyo and makes the mistake of wishing upon a falling star.

She wanted to shirk cultural traditions and from there, I knew where this film was going. Since classical times, spotting such a fireball was often feared more than regarded as divine intervention. If a prayer is said upon seeing it, just what happens can go any which way. In this film’s case, both are considered!

Comet Tiamat is getting closer to the Earth and it is the raison d’être for how this tale comes together. She’s not always a creation goddess but is also representative of primordial chaos. This chunk of rock and ice could have been given any name, and some viewers may wonder why this Babylonian figure is used? My theory is that this name was chosen to make viewers of this anime aware that this film is a shōjo product through and through. Her essence is everywhere. From the Earth to the Heavens, in the offerings at the shrine and coming visible at twilight, a sense of omnipotence can be felt as she comes closer to Earth affecting the main character, Miyamizu-chan.

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Getting “The Last Word” Out Can Be Tough, A Movie Review

15 Mar

lastword

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Life is not always a bed of roses for three generations of unlikely individuals coming together in The Last Word. Here, this film shows not everyone finds happiness (the lead looks like she has a very lonely life), other folks may well feel stuck in what to do with the rest of their lives because of a dead end job and for the kids, the growing pains are varied. This movie written by Stuart Ross Fink and directed by Mark Pellington explores possible reasons for why some people you meet in life are the way they are.

Octogenarian Harriet Lauler (perfectly played by Shirley MacLaine) is cantankerous and ill-tempered. Just how she survived in a man’s world is because she was willing to burn bridges and fight against the norm (in the 40’s and 50’s) in order to succeed in the business world. Her controlling nature earned her a reputation, and when she realizes she’s at her twilight, something has to change. After reading a death notice in a newspaper, she visits the office and recruits a 20-something writer Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried) to pen her obituary. Her job at the newspaper is not a glorious one, but as a droll obit writer, it pays the bills. Lauler wants to be positively remembered and Sherman has her work cut out for her.

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[Victoria Film Festival 2017] Dealing with Karma in The Suffering of Ninko

11 Feb

the-suffering-of-ninko-film-posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The trailer for the movie, Suffering of Ninko, is deceptively wonderful. We are presented with what appears to be a comedy about Ninko (Masato Tsujioka), a novice Buddhist monk, whom many a woman wants to cuddle up with. There’s even two male members of his order who show interest, and to see how he struggles to stay celibate is at the heart of this rated R film. Reciting his mantras is easy, but when he is presented with physical challenges, averting his eyes is not. However, there’s more he must face to test his virtue.

The people from Edo-period Japan tends to have a deeper spiritual connection with the world. Whether that’s in the art they produce or their every day life, the supernatural is generally believed to exist everywhere. When rendered to a form either on paper or with a word, there’s a life given to the work. With literature, it gives the narrative a higher meaning. In the full 70minute film, just what this tale means is worth exploring. Is it folklore, a Brothers Grimm type tale or symphonic prose?

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[Victoria, BC] The One Man Mega-Hit Marathon (Star Wars, LotR, Batman)

4 Oct
Charles Ross presenting One Man Lord of the Rings

Charles Ross presenting One Man Lord of the Rings

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Charles Ross will be taking part in University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre’s celebration of 50 glorious years of creating great theatre. During this alumni festivity, he will be performing an exhaustive “One Man” Marathon (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Batman). The fun begins on October 11 and ends on the 17th. There are other shows taking place too, but I’m sure the nerds of Victoria, BC will be there for Ross.

For those who have not seen these shows, I heavily recommend to readers nearby to consider making a trip over to the south-eastern tip of Vancouver Island. Not many people realize this garden city is his home; for those who do not know what this part of the world is like, its beautiful for much of the year because of its varied (mostly British) architectural heritage, temperate climate and laid-back attitude. To adventure here will imitate part of the hero’s journey Ross often puts across in his shows. To discover what that means requires attending a performance.

To learn more about this man and his works, including a look into how he approached developing each of these One Man shows, please look at these past interviews and look at his current works in progress:

(Otaku no Culture) Charles Ross’ One Man Star Wars & Lord of the Rings

(Two Hungry Blokes) One Man Star Wars Does the Dark Knight Trilogy

(Two Hungry Blokes) Will There Be Further Adventures of Ape Man and Fish Boy?

To purchase tickets, please visit the Phoenix Theatre’s web page here. Matinee shows are offered for Star Wars and Batman over the weekend.