Tag Archives: Documentary

King Cohen, The Documentary

29 Jul

Image result for king cohenBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Upcoming Screenings:
August 3rd, New York City,
Alamo Drafthouse

for a complete list,
please visit
www.kingcohenmovie.com

Larry Cohen is the maverick filmmaker, if not a sociologist in disguise. He treats cinema as a reflection on life and he coats it with a ginger touch so that there’s perhaps one degree of separation than direct outright commentary. If moviegoers have not heard of him yet, they will in the documentary, King Cohen.

His early life story is quickly told, and to understand why he loved the movies meant talking to those close to him, and those who worked hand-in-hand. Filmmakers Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams, Joe Dante, John Landis, and Fred Williamson also express their thoughts about this magic man. But for those who were on set, they often mention his clash with the Hollywood system. I can only imagine the arguments should studio executives visit the set. Perhaps, even funnier is in how he went about “securing permission” when filming at public spaces. The best story has to come with how he went about making Q: The Winged Serpent (1982). Today, the production assistants would do a lot of wrangling to ensure safety. Cohen did not have that luxury and the chaos is nicely described. As a viewer, it’s hard not to laugh.

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It’s Not Too Late to Undergo a Metamorphosis on Climate Change! An Interview

22 Jun

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Remaining Theatrical Dates

EDMONTON – June 22nd – Metro Cinema
VICTORIA – June 24th – Cinecenta
VANCOUVER – June 26th – Vancity Theatre

The art of film is not a lecture series, but rather, a term coined by film buffs to describe a cinematic experience. Velcrow Ripper is a well-respected filmmaker and activist whose past work speaks for itself. His most notable documentary is Scared Sacred, the first of a trilogy of films which examines hope against the backdrop of devastation. Whether that’s manmade with the bombing of Hiroshima or conspiracy in New York (9-11), his message of hope defines these works. Nova Ami was host, director, and writer of The Leading Edge on The Knowledge Network, a program which looked at technology and innovation. She also previously directed social issue documentaries that have aired on various broadcast networks including CBC’s Passionate Eye. These two are life partners and believe humanity has a future. Some folks think it’s too late to fix all that is wrong with this planet. But for these two, they believe there is another direction people can take to clean up the mess man made for itself.

The works they have created can be considered spiritual activism, where one of the tenets is to use nonviolent means to get a message across. “It’s a kind of activism that involves also thinking about how you create change in the world,” explained Ripper.
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Go Get ‘Em! Geek Girls, Documentary Review

18 Mar

Upcoming Shows:
AUSTRALIA –
Demand Film
March 19-April 9, 6:30pm

CANADA, WINNIPEG –
Winnipeg Cinematheque
March 21-25 & 29

UK, LEEDS –
Left Bank Leeds
March 29, 8pm

BELGIUM, BRUSSELS –
Millenium Documentary Film Festival
March 21, 7pm & March 25, 5pm

Geek Girls is a documentary by filmmaker Gina Hara (Your Place or Minecraft), chronicling her journey on why life as a female nerd is tough. A brief background about her childhood explains her motivations, and to see her interview other women (11 in total) who have found occupations by keeping true to themselves is inspiring no matter what the gender. This 80-minute production looks at how nerdom is a badge of honour instead of a sign of shame.

Sometimes the gender issue is not always in focus, as nearly every child played with dolls (Barbie, Transformers and GI Joe all belong in the same category), read comics, traded baseball cards or played some kind of video game. The labelling happened when peers in high school knew these secrets. Though back then, etymologists will note the words nerd and geek meant different things. The modern definition is more synonymous, and with this work, looks at these ladies deal against so-called societal norms.

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Foley Artists are the Actors of Sound, A Documentary Review

20 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Coming to VOD and iTunes on Feb 27th.
Also continuing to play at select Film Festivals. Please check local listings.

Actors of Sound is a solid, insightful and fascinating documentary about one stage of the process which makes cinema come alive. Without it, the cute waddle we hear from E.T. the Extraterrestrial moving about would not be there. These days, part of the sound mix is created on the computer and fully assembled. Back in the golden age of cinema, the talents had to innovate. To come up these nuances with limited resources and splicing magnetic tape was a real thing! In the early days of cinema, the work was difficult. People were most likely recruited from radio since timing was important — and the history of this art can be traced to the pioneer of the craft, Jack Foley.

Other talents this full-length feature includes are John Roesch, the mastermind behind giving life to E.T., and Ross Taylor who led the work behind The Exorcist. Twenty-three talents from around the world were interviewed. Each of them offers their own unique perspectives on how this work is done in their native country. India is unique because of the extravagance some of their films are made. Back home in America, Kitty Malone became the first female Foley Artist to work in Hollywood. She did all the dancing we hear (not see) in Liza Minnelli’s movies. They were not recorded as the microphones were intent on catching the vocal tracks than ambience.

This feature is not about the secrets. Instead, it’s about the life and times of those dedicated to this craft. It also becomes part of the romance. Relationships emerged and having a connection to the actors in the film is just as important. A lot of these talents become the celebrity when recording the same footfall they make. These audio artists describe the work as a joy. This exploration shows people “playing in a sandbox and having fun” with it. They are essentially painting a picture with sound.

A gentle plot helps guides viewers to this visual thesis. The threat of going completely digital — using huge sound libraries to put in each sound we hear in a television show or film — to replace these talents is mentioned. An answer is given: the human element is important. The pros and cons are weighed in. Although the stance these talents reveal is obvious, hopefully a revolution can happen to keep this aspect of film/tv production ongoing.

5 Stars out of 5