Some people may think of the drive-in theatre as antiquated, but it is not. They still exist far and wide, and as for why they are worth going to is because it helps foster local communities. And for one passionate filmmaker, April Wright, her lifelong examination of this culture is part of a series called Going Attractions. Her latest work, Going Back to the Drive-In, looks at not only this aspect but also what goes on to maintain these operations in today’s global climate.
I had the opportunity to speak to Wright, and we talked about history, its rise back into the public consciousness because of the pandemic, and its future. She said, “My very first documentary came out in 2013, and it was called Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie (available on Tubi). It explored the whole history of drive-ins.”
After making a few other works, she decided on producing Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace. It was about the indoor cinema experience the big old theatres built by the studios. Afterwards was Stuntwomen, The Untold Hollywood Story. Although she could have gone on to produce other movies about the studio system, a little voice said something else.
There was lots to enjoy at Fan Expo Vancouver 2023, and in this introduction, we go explore the paranormal themed events in greater detail.
When the local fandom communities want to be heard, they’ll certainly roar at Fan Expo Vancouver 2023 (FXV). That’s what Vice-President Andrew Moyes wants to hear, and he was at the show to make sure it goes off without a hitch. He’s been with the company for over 10 years to help deliver this experience all over North America, and their primary goal is to deliver community driven events. “These aren’t travelling circuses,” this organiser said, “We are delighted by the support we received from the fandom community in Vancouver. It shows our fans have faith in what we are delivering.”
Regarding this and Portland’s show happening the same weekend, he said it was done to synergize the two, so no fan will feel left out. Part of it also had to do with the dates the State-side convention centre had open. Moyes put forth the answer to his own question, “Do I think it’s going to happen all the time? Not necessarily. But when those opportunities present themselves, it helps us elevate the experience for all to enjoy.”
Stacey Tenenbaum believes losing a lot of our history and cultural memory when things in our lives are simply scrapped rather than being preserved in her documentary.
Rio Theatre Vancouver, BC Saturday Oct. 22 3:15pm
Stacey Tenenbaum has been touring Canada during Waste Reduction Week, and attending special screenings of her documentary, Scrap, to answer those questions about what it means to not only recycle, but also explain humanity’s relationship with the objects made long ago. It’s not about reusing what’s found in a scrapyard for a movie, like Mad Max: Fury Road, or finding new uses of smaller industrial objects, like steampunk cosplay. I’m sure people scour the junkyards for those antiques needed when a film or tv show requires something from a bygone age when it can’t be found in an antique store.
But there’s more to this movie than meets the eye in terms of how old junk is reused. They have longetivity to them, and that’s one key thing to remember. Also, some of these items do more than bring out feelings of nostalgia. Also, there’s an intrinsic beauty not everyone can recognise. Whether it’s to be used in installation art or for residing in, I adored every careful possibility that’s been put into this work.
I feel what this filmmaker offers is very meditative, and I had an opportunity to correspond with her about this work:
Sandy King and John Carpenter are a powerhouse couple behind Storm King Comics, and we got a chance to interview King.
Sandy King is certainly not overshadowed by her husband and filmmaker extraordinaire, John Carpenter. Together, they are a powerhouse couple who’s out to make a unique stamp in not only comicbookdom but also cinema. She’s not only co-producer of her husbands many works, but also the first woman founder of the comic book publishing company, Storm King Comics . Before this shift to publishing, she worked with legends of cinema like Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Mann to name a few.
“I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to work with amazing auteur filmmakers in a wide array of genres,” said King. “In the animation world, I worked for Lewis Hall and Carlos Gutierrez on a film called ‘Anti-Matter,’ which won the first Student Academy Award. With John, I’ve done some pretty classic horror films, including ‘They Live,’ which I think was an important film for our times.”
There are not many filmmakers today who can say they’ve made dramas (Killing of a Chinese Bookie with Cassavetes), comedies (16 Candles with John Hughes), westerns (The Long Riders with Walter Hill), animated films and horror movies.
This company got its start when Thomas Ian Griffith came to her and John with an idea. They spent two years learning the ropes, and talking to those who know the industry before getting anything printed. “The result was our first book, John Carpenter’s Asylum . It won awards; it was fun to do, and we’ve never stopped. Probably our most popular title is the annual anthology we publish every October, John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight,” said King.
Three Little Wishes is a hilarious graphic novel which subverts the traditional idea of about fulfilling one’s grandest desires. Sometimes, the person finding magic in the bottle doesn’t want that, and in what he or she wants may well be something nicer. I don’t want to say too much, but as for what caught my attention is that we don’t get a tale out of Arabian Knights, and the creators Paul Cornell and Steve Yeowell crafted a beautiful tale that I often don’t see in this subgenre.
It’s a very British work, and the nuances that come with it was enough for me!
Can you please introduce yourselves? That is, what was that break that got you into working in the comics industry?
Paul Cornell (Pictured left): Both times it was through Doctor Who–I got into writing British comics because I knew the editor of Doctor Who Magazine and I said I wanted to write. John Freeman gave me a strip and taught me the basics, And many years later, after he saw my work, Mark Miller emailed me asking if I would like to write for Marvel Comics. It’s a career route that any young creator can easily follow. I recommend it to anybody.
Steve Yeowell (Pictured Right): My first professional job was working with Grant Morrison on a Japanese toy tie in, Zoids, for Marvel UK. And from there, I went to 2008 A.D. From then on, it was with various American projects–Skrull Kill Krew, Starman, The Invisibles. I worked with lots of American writers. I’ve even worked with Miller a couple of times, and James Robinson. My latest is with Paul on Three Little Wishes, a rom com graphic novel.
One thing I’ve always wondered about–what’s the difference between British comics and American comics?
PC: There aren’t many of them left now, but most of them were anthology titles. So you’re dealing with short strips. And it gives you great discipline. With 2000 AD, you have to be in and out in five pages. What would you say, Steve?
SY: I think it’s a difference in dynamic because of the format. It means the story is much more concise. You have to get to the point quickly.
With Three Little Wishes, how did the idea come about?
PC: Well, the idea came about because I was sitting with my agent one day, and her husband is a contract lawyer. And I had in my head an idea for a book about granting wishes. I thought who would be the worst possible person for a fairy, interested in tricking humans with the fine detail of wishes, to encounter? A contract lawyer!