Tag Archives: History

Top 10 Must See Picks at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

2 May

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

The 38th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is taking place very soon and for fans of cinema across the sea, the films being offered this year covers a nice wide gamut of topics, themes and genres that examine some aspect of Oceania. There’s experimental, short and feature length films. Like previous years, this event will include an online portion for those still concerned about the pandemic and be geolocked.

The following are my picks of the 2022 season. Some are genre works, and others, documentaries. Making the list again is Waterman, which is a must see about the visionary who helped make waterboarding an Olympic Sport.

Clicking on the links will take you to the LAAPFF’s webpage to purchase tickets.

FROM VISIONS TO REEL SHORTS PROGRAM

A legacy program with the film festival that has welcomed award-winning filmmakers early in their career. Experience a range of storytelling styles from the next generation. The future is now.

STILL LIFE SHORTS PROGRAM

A collection of animated stories from near and far. An array of visuals from the canvas, stage, and screen. These images of still life will move you.

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Remembering Charlotte Salomon, The Animated Opus

20 Apr

Charlotte (2021) - IMDbOpening April 22 in select theatres across Canada 

The beauty behind the animated biography titled Charlotte lies in how the film imagines constructing this artist’s famous paintings. From a stroke or a wet wash, those markings convey an image that haunted her mind. She is an Expressionist painter and her works depict a world collapsing upon itself due to war. When she’s not making a social commentary about her world, this woman is looking deep at her own turmoil.

Anyone of Jewish faith, sympathisers included, had to go into hiding. Charlotte Salomon (voiced by Keira Knightley) was sent away.

This film humbly chronicles the key moments of her life and what she witnessed to inspire her to create the world’s first graphic novel. Some of her works are multi-layered. A transparency holding text gives the art an added context, unlike how an onomatopoeia adds sound to that still image. The dialogues often told a truism.

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The Waterman is Riding High Near You

14 Apr

Duke Kahanamoku doc 'Waterman' coming to Waimea Theater - The Garden IslandDuke Paoa Kahanamoku is the Waterman, a hero unlike any other. He not only represented Hawaii‘s spirit in sports competitions, but also became something more. At the height of his career, he became a five-time Olympic medalist. Like Aquaman, part of his family’s heritage comes from noble blood and viewers will be pleased Jason Momoa is one of many voices to offer insight to this athlete’s world.

Kahanamoku grew up enjoying life along the warm beaches around Waikiki. He honed his many oceanic skills here, and that also included mastering the waves on an alaia–a waterboard. When he introduced this sport to the world (starting in Australia) the love for it was only starting. Duke didn’t get the recognition for it right away, and what this documentary perfectly explores are all the problems he faced before being hailed the king of the sea.

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A Nerd’s & Safety Guide to the 2022 Victoria Film Festival

8 Jan

Logo HeaderFilm festivals are continuing to be half in-person and half online as the world enters into year three of the pandemic. Sundance cancelled their physical edition and will be fully digital. It’s tough to say if smaller events in cities like Victoria, British Columbia will follow suit. As long as there’s no huge spike in hospitalizations, all anyone can do is stay informed to what the policies are should they want to attend in-person.

People going to a Victoria Film Festival screening must present their vaccination card and id. The check-in process should be even more machine-operated/contactless. When patrons are not eating or drinking, a mask must be always on. Additionally, there’s no advanced booking of seats for distancing between groups. This organisation isn’t likely to have enough volunteer power to enforce by doing high temperature checks, so everyone has to do their part to keep others safe. 

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The Emperors Sword Takes a Slice at Chinese History

9 Nov

The Emperor's Sword Film Review – Drop The SpotlightWell GO USA
Available to stream or purchase on Amazon USA

Not to be confused with the Warhammer 40k weapon of different renown, The Emperor’s Sword (乱世之定秦剑) is a quasi-historical film which went from one streaming service in China to Hi-Yah! Network to home video release. There’s no bonus material to explain the finer details to which the tale comes from, and as for how much of what’s presented is real depends on how well one knows their Chinese history.

This tale takes place during the Qin Dynasty where “The Seven Gentlemen” (The Virtuous, The Wisdom, The Polite, The Valor, The Brave, The Vigor, and The Wise) are brought together to guard a sword that’s fabled to bring peace to the land. But to prevent the wrong people from taking absolute rule, this blade was split into two. If the parts ever reunite, problems are going to rise. Meng Tian (a real general) will have to deal with the mess. He protects one half of this blade. Elsewhere, Zhao Gao (also real) makes a grasp for power. He kills the current emperor (fictionalized) and his son, and with no surprise, the only survivor, Xue escapes with the sword. She barely survives and what we get is a merry chase through parts of China.

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