Tag Archives: French Cinema

[Victoria Film Festival 2017] Dreaming About My Life as a Zucchini & Upcoming Dates

13 Feb

ma_vie_de_courgetteBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

GKIDS USA release date:
February 24, 2017

Once in a while, a stop-motion animated film will amaze. My Life as a Zucchini (the English title of the Swiss-French Ma vie de Courgette) has a wonderful artistic design to it, reminiscent of Tim Burton’s wide-eyed look. This movie is based on the book by Gilles Paris and just like it, the story touches on the tough themes of how kids dealing with abandonment. At the same time, audiences get to learn about what establishing of a family, related or not, means. Icare (who prefers the nickname Zucchini – Courgette in French) is the protagonist, and after a quick look at his home life, his next day looks like a complete disaster. He may have or not have accidentally caused the death of his mother. She was drunk and aggressive towards her boy, so it’s tough to say if what happened was her fault or his. We never truly know when the titles roll.

Without any adults in his life, he now faces an uncertain future while living at an orphanage. He finds others like him and in some people’s eyes, they are damaged goods because of why they were placed here. Simon, the bully of this estate reveals all, but after an instance where Courgette shows he’s not afraid, becomes his friend (perhaps maybe too quickly) and as the two come to realize their existence is meaningless, just where this movie goes depends on how quick viewers are to notice the signs.

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Winter’s still present in Snowtime! A Review

2 Mar

snowtime-poster-lgBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

*Available to watch via iTunes USA, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play and Video on Demand

Winter can easily last forever in repeat viewings of the computer animated film, Snowtime!  Both director Jean-François Pouliot wonderfully crafted a tale reminiscent of watching an old Our Gang comedy and writer Normand Canac-Marquis nicely adapted the material from the 1984 Quebecois film La Guerre des Tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the Warir?t=wiupgeatthmo 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0001ZVA3K) into a well-meaning journey for Luke (voiced by Angela Galuppo). Although his father passed on about ten years ago from an undisclosed war, the boy did his best to make more friends while growing up in a quiet village. When there is no father-figure in his life, his mother can only do so much. A memento he carries to remember pops is his bugle. When two girls move into town, a few emotions are stirred when he meets Sophie (Lucinda Davis), the elder of the pair, for the first time.

With the few friends Luke has, life in this tiny town is simple. While the elders are busy with their life (this place may be a mining camp), the kids get the complete run of the town. When school lets out for winter break, everyone tries to find some activity to do. Boredom can set in quite fast and when one challenge provides a source of conflict, everyone decides to have one huge snowball fight to make the rest of their short vacation fun.

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Adele Blanc-Sec versus Indiana Jones, A Blu-Ray/DVD Review

27 Feb

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is a fun roving adventure featuring a very comely adventuress going up against a whole bevy of supernatural creatures. Some are helpful whereas others become a hindrance in her quest to find a cure for her twin sister, who suffers from quite literally a needle in her head. This pain caused her paralysis and ever since that accident, Adèle has taken care of her. Her love for her sibling is above all else, including their rivalry that most siblings have for attention as they grow up.

In a film originally released in 2010 in France, notice elsewhere around the world depended on whether readers of the comic book of the same name kept track of new developments that is still ongoing. Artist/writer Jacques Tardi created this seminal heroine back in 1976 where she dealt with not only the weird but also the what the hell?

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