Tag Archives: Drama

On-Gaku Our Sound and the Post Punk Movement?

6 Mar
On-Gaku: Our Sound - - Blu-ray/DVD

DDD

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout! Factory
Release Date: March 9, 2021

Defining On-Gaku: Our Sound will not be easy. We hear a cacophony of musical genres, and not all of them are mainstream. Perhaps it’s because Writer/Director Kenji Iwaisawa was very DIY in his approach. He went old school (hand-drawn) to craft this unique film, and his art style is very non-traditional. We don’t get the wide-eyed manga work. Instead, it’s a mix of Constructivism, Minimalism and maybe Dada. The way he draws his character’s eyes tells all here, and the fisheye look gives his character designs a quality which is very hypnotic.

I particularly like the fluidity found when rotoscoping frames of a film camera onto paper. I’m fairly certain Dire Straits music video “Money for Nothing” is an influence and instead of being very artsy, the technique is more earthy and subdued.

The home video release has a great selection of featurettes which not only goes behind the scenes but also gets you in the mood to see the film again! Even better are the live performances of nearly half the soundtrack!

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VFFOnline: Navigating Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s Labyrinth of Cinema

8 Feb

Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here.
All films begin Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Geo-locked to residents in British Columbia

Spoiler Alert

Nobuhiko Ōbayashi‘s Labyrinth of Cinema is not only a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood but also an anti-war film. The many genres this era introduced helped define the shape of entertainment still to come, and its fondly honoured. We see a bit of everything in this film, from animation to comedy to sci-fi, and there’s even a splash of horror offered after a few musical moments. The best bits are with the romances, though.

The films of today are a lot more sophisticated in terms of realism. This filmmaker went old school to make this movie, and he wanted his performers to overact. They are in on the joke. He uses those techniques to emphasize why the modern (nuclear) age is terrible. The realism is just that, and the fiction is in technicolour. Unlike Ishirō Honda‘s intent in Gojira (1954), this work makes a different commentary about why going to war is bad (from the eyes of one side in the conflict). Also included is the fear of where humanity is headed–whether or not any future conflicts to come will destroy humanity. Ultimately, his goal is to show us why engaging in the art of war (and not in the Sun Tzu sense) is bad.

Ōbayashi makes use of humour to hammer in the point. He also broke a lot of rules from movie making 101 when he was in post-production, namely the editing of Labyrinth of Cinema. I was taught to avoid jump cuts in my newsroom videos, but he’s gratuitous in using this technique. The plot here is non-linear, and he purposely micro-budgeted the set design in some of this film’s best romantic moments to make it picturesque, like it’s from a painting. More green screen sets were used to distinguish the many realities explored. My guess is that the only proper place was a movie theatre and everything else was digitally created.

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VFFOnline: Watching Paolo Head to the (Great) Big North (Il Grande Nord)

6 Feb

Il Grande Nord [Italian Edition]By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here to view beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Available to view for residents in British Columbia

Also available to purchase on DVD on Amazon USA

British Columbia can’t look any more beautiful in the documentary, Big North (Il Grande Nord). This work looks at the life of Paolo Cognetti, an Italian and award winning author, on a pilgrimage through this province, the Yukon and Alaska as he explores the grandiose nature of the region, himself and what it all means. 

He’s following in the footsteps of those authors he admires–Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and many others–during his trek, and in what we all see are beautiful shots of the terrain with drone cameras, a cameraman or two, and thankfully no bear encounters! The goal is to have the same experience as they had, and it’ll no doubt translate into his next novel, when he’s ready to write it!

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All-in Madonna & Secrets Behind the Set, an Interview

4 Feb

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival.

Get your pass here to view beginning Feb 5th, 2021.
Facebook Watch Party on Feb 6th, 6:30 PST

Note: Available to residents in British Columbia

All-in Madonna marks Arnold Lim‘s (pictured left) directorial debut in making a feature length work. After its virtual (world) premiere at the Whistler Film Festival and limited online availability last year, its next screening is at the Victoria Film Festival!

This filmmaker’s visual style evolved from how he likes to communicate, which is through the camera. He made a career out of it. In Victoria, BC he’s very well known because of not only his role at Black Press Media as a photo-journalist, but also as a talent whose heart is big. He is the official photographer to various local charities. At the Victoria Film Festival, he’s involved with programming (handling the Asian film content), act as juror and be a member of the board.

Lim revealed, “Different films from different countries look, feel and smell tonally different because of a combination of the different actors and locations and cultures that exist in combination with the perspective of filmmakers whose voices tell the story.”

As part of the CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers team, this photographer soon became a filmmaker after doing a story about them, about the Reel to Reel program. He joined, learned the craft and wanted to make movies. After making the short film version of All-in Madonna–about Maddie going to public school for the first time and hearing rumours that her dad is a thug–he and Susie Winters, the screenwriter, knew it needed to be feature length!

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