Tag Archives: Japanese

A Creepy International Movie Guide to Enjoying Halloween

31 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The horror movie experience is subjective when looking at any screaming list of what to watch in the days leading to or on Halloween Day. Any long-time fan will have developed an immunity to certain levels of gore. When I was younger, I was not as hardened. What you see here is one where I reflect to those movies that really got to me when I was a tyke–still discovering what comes naught may.

I break a few entries down to include even more films since they represent a particular subgenre. Here’s my guide for what to view tonight (or any other). For a few of us, All Hallow’s Eve lasts longer. After all, the Day of the Dead takes place November 2nd, but this cultural celebration differs from the American-Celtic tradition.

Häxan
(1922)

Horror films from the silent film era are unique. The more aged the presentation is, the more detached it is from our sense of what modern times entails. Perhaps the way each frame flips or an original cinema screening skips, can jar our belief in reality–whether or not it is dreamlike.

There’s no denying Nosferatu (1922), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (109), The Phantom Carriage (1920) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925) are masterpieces. A bigger question lies in what can truly disturb, or cause nightmares to those not used to tales of the macabre? When this Swedish-Danish work was originally meant to be a documentary that looks at Witchcraft throughout the ages–also this film’s English title–and the gory practices involved that cast them as demons, this film does the job!

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Top Five Asian Picks to see during Vancouver’s 2019 International Film Festival

29 Sep

Image result for children of the sea movieBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival is a showcase many cinephiles living in the Lower Mainland will be at. True to the city with it’s huge share of Asians, having a worthwhile selection is a must. This event is in full swing and I offer my picks from this world (links go to ticket purchase):

Children of the Sea

A loner schoolgirl befriends two boys who were raised by dugongs (manatee-like creatures), and embarks on an aquatic journey to unlock the mysteries of the boys and the sea. Based on Igarashi Daisuke’s lauded manga, director Watanabe Ayumu and Studio4°C’s bold experimental and environmental statement dazzles the eyes with stupendously beautiful animation of the underwater world, and blows the mind with dense symbolism and disorienting imagery that have drawn comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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[Fantasia 2019] When There’s More than One Island of Cats, A Movie Review

29 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on
Region 2 DVD/Blu-ray
Sept 4

Played at Fantasia 2019
July 28, 2019

Whether the reverence of cats is explored in manga—like What’s Michael—is played at within a cat cafe or is studied through folklore, there’s no denying these felines have a power over us which we love seeing. In the Japan, Tama is a station master at Kishi Station who greets nearly every traveller. Even the building itself was redesigned in her honour.

The star of Island of Cats even takes on this name, but here, this felis catus is a he and his master is Daikichi (Shinosuke Tatekawa), a retiree/widower. His son lives on the mainland and his wife died two years ago. This old man has no desire to move off his idyllic paradise.

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[Fantasia 2019] We Are Little Zombies, A Movie Review

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

We Are Little Zombies is a misleading title. While the situation borders on black comedy, perhaps the terror lays in what four 10-year-old tweens are facing: isolation. When they have to face grief at the loss of their parents, just how they react is a complex mix of juxtapositions worth studying. Writer/director Makoto Nagahisa tosses a lot of imagery at viewers. It’s like watching FLCL for the first time.

Hikari (Keita Ninomiya), Ikuko (Sena Nakajima), Ishi (Satoshi Mizuno) and Takemura (Mondo Okumura) can give Wednesday Addams a run for her money. They have no hope for their immediate future. When nobody seems to want them, relatives included (they are suspiciously missing in this narrative) all they have are each other. They met at the crematorium and after a lengthy backstory told in flashbacks, they decide to form a band. Their idea to express their life through music–which I have to label bubblegum punk.

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