Weiye Su is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker with a goal, and that’s to dispel the myths concerning the underground tunnels that exist underneath the city of Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. What’s offered is a falsehood. After his family relocated here many years ago, what he wanted to discover about the past concerning fellow Chinese as this country was being built is important. He knew very early on their stories aren’t as well known, and he’s given one family a chance to be heard in A Passage Beyond Fortune.
Ultimately, this mini-documentary is about the legacies that those Asians crafted with their own hands. Although the United States is considered a land of opportunities more so than Canada, both have an important place in history. As most scholars know, in those early settlement years and even throughout the Depression, not everyone treated foreigners kindly. This filmmaker’s goal is to explore the proper cultural contexts and reverence, than to present stigmatized notions on what life was like back then. He also recommends reading Brian S. Osborne’s essay, Moose Jaw’s Tunnel Vision: Mystery, History, and the Construction of ‘Canada’s Most Notorious City.’
We offer our list of must sees at the 2023 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and they include a mix of short animated works along with three features!
All hands are on deck for the 2023 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and it’s resumed being a mostly in-person event. A small selection of works will be made available online and what attendees should check out are its shorts program! All the fantasy and genre works are found here, and what I offer as a highlight of what to look for those attending.
In entertainment, witches often get a bad reputation, and it is up to filmmakers like Rama Rau to present the correct facts. Her excellent documentary, simply titled Coven, presents a side of the craft which is not altogether strange. It’s mostly about community and reverence to the old ways before the coming of organised religion. But even then, those new ways of worship isn’t always a factor. What we see here is what it means to not only be an individual, but also become part of a commune.
That alone makes this cinematic study worthy of an award. One detail that’s understated is the rule of three. In this work, the lives of three women are examined. It’s not a reference to the Wayward Sisters from Shakespeare’s play and nor are they representative of the norns of lore. All they are women seeking to understand their past life, present state of affairs and future with this craft without prejudice.
Anyone who knew who Richard Wayne Penniman was before becoming the musician that he is really requires knowing the era and influences that turned him into Little Richard, I Am Everything. This cinematic presentation is getting special one day screenings around America (please check local listings), and I hope it’ll arrive at streaming services soon afterwards.
What’s offered is a perfect introduction and a look back at music history. Throughout the 50s and 60s, race relations through the Bible belt were difficult and when it pertained to music, tracking everything that went on is a scholarly study in itself! To talk about how Penniman struggled is just as important. Nearly every beat and problem is explored, including his homosexuality.
We got a list that considers how cinematic fantasy worlds should look like in both the cinematic and broadcast front.
After Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, I felt the need to cleanse the palette. I wanted to visit other cinematic fantasy worlds that truly delivers the mediaeval aesthetic. To find a film that’s true to the feel is tough, and to nail a top ten is even harder! I hit streaming services and my library to see what’s there, and I was being tough on myself since any element that’s off meant taking it out of this list.
Movies based on mythology are a given. And I’ve removed literary works like The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings because that would be cheating. What I offer here is listed in alphabetical order and the links go to Amazon USA for those wanting to stream it or to buy. Final movie trailers are also included to separate each entry.
Zack Snyder’s colourful and gritty story about a bunch of Spartans protecting a pass is a movie to truly marvel at. When all of Greece gets threatened, what else can an elite warrior class do? Here, we learn about what it takes to defend a nation. As for the sacrifices, it’s the stuff of legends. Although the sequel doesn’t fare as well as the original, this pairing is a must for fans of this filmmaker.