Tag Archives: Drama

Angels & Aliens are not all that Ancient, Fringe Review

5 Sep

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Continues at the Vancouver Fringe Festival 2018 (Sept 6-14)

Existentialism gets a huge boost with Angels & Aliens, a play I saw at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival. this play by Jeff Leard and Sydney Hayduk tackles an age-old question of where did we come from and if we are being manipulated by a greater force, hence the title. No Ancient Aliens here. A theory on how life is not simply binary (plagued with yes and nos) is implied.

The next time I play Sim City, I will have to be careful in which window I look in on. Here, the game is called iBang. The players are Jeff and Syd, playing opposing sides in this game—angels and aliens are guiding humanity to peaceful coexistence. The characters in the digital universe are also Jeff and Syd. In real life, they have a “domestic” squabble and how they deal is like the game they are playing. Shades of The Matrix can be found here.

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Fado, the Saddest Music in the World Hits High Notes at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival

26 Aug

LOCATION:
White Eagle Polish Hall
90 Dock Street
Victoria, BC

DATES:
Aug 26, 28-31 8:00pm
Sept 01 8:00pm

One style of folk music from Portugal has a rich and very colourful history. Fado rose out of the political climate of the mid-19th century, and it was not until the 1970s when it came into wider acceptance. The New Statesman has a terrific overview of this history, and despite its auspicious beginnings, today’s generation embraced it and it became the song of a nation. Puente Theatre took on the challenge of dispelling the myths and explaining the generational divide in Fado, the Saddest Music in the World. This task did not go unnoticed when I went their opening night show at the Victoria Fringe Festival.

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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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Hey Ricky, Oh Lucy! is not What You Think … A Movie Review

12 Jun

oh_lucyBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! is an indie film which can easily evoke feelings of self-pity for those believing they are in the same boat as her. When life tears you down, you are middle-aged and have nothing great to look forward to in life, just what can you do? Some people will get a handle on it and add excitement. Others feel resigned to their fate. They stop trying. I know of a certain person like that and can only feel sorry for him. All I can hope is that one day he will wake up, and achieve happiness. In my experience, that’s not easy to do unless chances are made, and risks are taken.

In this film, I wonder if Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima) even has people she can call true friends. This actress is terrific at creating a deadpan attitude and to go into that place to convey what looks like eternal sadness. She’s simply trying to survive life in the concrete jungle known as Tokyo. After witnessing a suicide in the subway, her reaction and lack of empathy make me wonder how rough can life in the city be? I lost a good buddy decades ago. He had the pressures of living up to family expectations and the Japanese societal norm. We had good times hanging out when he was still in Canada, but when the family decided to go back to Japan, things changed.

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