Tag Archives: Historical

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

By 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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The Miyazaki Charm is Alive in Ronja, Robber’s Daughter

20 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released August 20, 2019
Shout! Factory & GKIDS

* Spoiler Alert

Gorō Miyazaki has big shoes to fill. As the son of Hayao, to shift from the career of garden landscaper to animation director can be viewed as extreme but I feel his skills in one world is transferable to another. He’s had plenty of education before working on Tales from Earthsea (2006) and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). To work on a television series, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, shows his transition is complete. The attention to detail put in the background designs served his multi-purpose role well.

This series is based on Astrid Lindgren‘s book of the same name (Amazon link) (Ronia is the original spelling). The seminal character was born on a stormy night. Some may say great things are in store for her as she gets older. Almost like PIXAR’s Brave, this headstrong girl is looking to make her place in the world. Instead, what she finds is an innocent friendship with a young boy from a rival clan.

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