Tag Archives: Mexico

Catching a Costume for Nicolas, A Movie Review

25 Aug

null 31By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

North American Premiere

A Costume For Nicholas is a wild and fancy free animation for all to enjoy. It’s not only a delightful and heartfelt adaptation of the children’s book Pablo y El Baúl by Jaime Mijares but also no prior knowledge is needed! The titular protagonist has Down’s syndrome. He lost his mother just minutes into the film (it’s easy to surmise because his grandparents take him in). Thankfully, adapting to life in an unfamiliar environment is hardly difficult at all.

David is his cousin, older by a couple of years, and though the two initially struggle to get along, it will take a magical adventure to see them bond. The tween has nightmares and they manifest strongly enough for Nick to see and he offers to help. However, before he involves David, he chases after the beast by himself and finds himself in another world via an old clothes trunk. Thankfully, the dangers he faces alone are not as dangerous as The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

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Finding Meaning from Halloween to Mexico’s Day of the Dead…

2 Nov

Dia de Muertos PosterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Halloween is not over yet. Other cultures have their own variant. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a significant two day fiesta spent celebrating the life and legacy of loved ones who passed on. The first day of November is dedicated to the young who sadly passed before they had their time in the sun and the second day for adults. That is, the Día de los Inocentes (“Day of the Innocents”) precedes Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”).

The entertainment industry can dwell on the complexities of what this event means or go full on horror. I prefer the happier context and only a handful of works exists.

El Universal reported Dia de Muertos, a new animated work directed by Carlos Gutiérrez Medrano, is coming this month! It’s anglicized title is Salma’s Big Wish. As for whether this will get any North American screenings, is Shout! Factory listening?

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Celebrate the Book of Life, Western-Style

17 Oct

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


Not many films truly acknowledge what another culture’s celebration is mainly about, and with The Book of Life, it does more than introduce to the world what the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is about. It’s known as a time for family and friends to gather together to honour and remember those who have passed, but there’s more; for some people, it is a time of introspection. This three-day celebration begins October 31st and not everyone considers the image of the skull frightening.

This time to celebrate is a communion to show that nobody, in close familial bonds or mutual companionship, is not forgotten. And that’s what makes this film enjoyable to follow. The story is centred upon the deep affection three close friends have for each other while growing up in the fictional Mexican town of San Ángel. In their childhood, Manolo (Diego Luna), Maria (Zoe Saldaña), and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) are inseparable even though the passion of the heart and following what their parents want for them to become as adults would insert daggers into their relationship. After Maria is taken away to learn how to grow up to be a proper lady, Manolo and Joaquin are groomed to be, respectively, the world’s greatest bull fighter and soldier for their little town.

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