Tag Archives: Historical

Gekidan Shinkansen’s Rock n’ Roll Odyssey with Fortress of Skulls Coming to Theatres (Canada-wide)

24 Jan

Fortress of SkullsIn select theatres Jan 26 and Jan 28 across Canada (ticket link)

Anyone who doesn’t want to watch the nearly three-hour version of Gekidan Shinkansen’s Fortress of Skulls (Wind mix) on Netflix now has an option! This gorgeous production has been edited down to a tighter work, and it’s now playing across Canada at select cinemas.

This theatre company delivers quite the experience when you can see one of their shows live. There, the seating moves with the action (more on this later), but for others going to see it at a movie theatre, the performance has a different feel. While we don’t get the sensation of the stage in motion, we will be assaulted with other terrific bits to make us feel like we’re in the play’s environment. Not only do we get a rousing score that blends rock and roll with traditional music, but also find the lighting design is straight out of a heavy metal concert.

Many cameras are used to track the action with this updated experience. One is locked off to frame the entire stage, and the rest are located at strategic spots to nail specific instances, and rest roaming one to nail close-ups. Had this been aired live, the director has to be on his A game to call the camera change. With up to twenty that can be used in total, that’s a lot!

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Inu-Oh is Swoon Worthy Hellraiser and a Lot More at Fantasia 2022

27 Jul

Inu-Oh PosterPlaying at Fantasia 2022 July 27 9:30 PM and Coming to theatres August 12, 2022 Courtesy of GKIDS. Coming to all major digital platforms on Dec 20 and on Blu-Ray™ + DVD on January 24

Masaaki Yuasa’s musical fantasy is very ambitious, and that should be of no surprise for anyone who loves rock and roll or heavy metal. There’s a bit of history too, but to say how much of it is accurate is tough to ascertain. That’s because there’s not a lot of surviving records about the real life Inu-Oh (犬王, lit. “Dog King”). 

The themes in this self-titled movie concerns defying the status quo and showing that it’s okay to be yourself. That’s how Inu-Oh lives his life. He believes there’s no need to conform, especially when he’s born deformed Sadly, people run away if they see him in his true form. Thus, he’s always wearing a mask and dons a huge garment to cover up his entire body. It’s a shame nobody can see past his ugliness, but thankfully Toma can. That’s because he’s blind.

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The King’s Daughter Slippery Slope to Streaming

11 Feb

The King's Daughter (2022) - IMDbNow Available on Streaming Services & Still Playing Theatrically

The King’s Daughter is a soft fantasy with a lot of family drama concerning a young aristocratic woman from Versailles who wishes to be free. Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario) spent enough time in a convent, and that’s not her life. Her father, King Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan), brings her home in a vein attempt to raise her instead of hunting for a mermaid (Fan Bingbing). It’s said eating the heart from this fantastic creature grants immortality, but I suspect it can also curse him, too. He won’t be the same. He never has since the death of his wife.

Marie was sent away before she even knew who her parents were and she discovers about her dad has her furious.

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Fly Me to Saitama and Let Me Play Among the Stars

31 Aug

Fly Me to the Saitama - WikipediaBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

Fly Me To Saitama does more than take inspiration from a certain Frank Sinatra song. This film easily extols why Japanese anime and manga content producers are in love with the Baroque. The Rose of Versailles anime and manga is perhaps the most well-known example. The extraordinary detail in the art and acute sense of grandeur is part of the style which spanned from the 17th-18th century. When realized in live action, you can’t help but marvel at the attention to detail in the costume and set design.

Traditionally, the term is used to describe art and music more than society (where the plot lays). The lifestyle is not about flamboyance, but rather exuberance. The hubris lays with how people changed in an era which followed the Renaissance. Societal norms were being challenged, and there was an awakening.

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Serving Detention with Spirits this Ghost Month!

25 Aug

null 24By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Played at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020
Canadian Premiere

SPOILER ALERT

So here is Greenwood, an unassuming high school, where students get an education about why the Kuomintang (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party) are great. However, anyone who is found to possess other teachings may get Detention (Fanxiao).

Viewers get an after hour’s lesson of a tumultuous time in Taiwanese history. There are other secrets this educational institute holds. The demons and ghosts of White Terror’s past wanting to tell their story. I’m sure all the atrocities that occurred is one many prefer to forget. Without it, the context of why Wei (Jing-Hua Tseng) is part of a dissonant group of kids learning from banned textbooks and the writings of Nobel-prize winning Rabindranath Tagore would be lost. Thankfully he is not alone, Fang Ray-Shin (Gingle Wang) sympathizes, but she wants nothing to do with the clandestine meetings. Two teachers–Miss Yin (Cecilia Choi) and Mr Zhang (Fu Meng-Po)–better be careful too. They won’t be facing jail time, but will be executed instead for their transgressions. A warning can be found with the grave in the schoolyard which students regularly cross.

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