Tag Archives: Music

Breaking down the Biopic: Bohemian Rhapsody

4 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The songs from Queen make up how the biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, flows than the life of the frontman. Quite often, musicians sing about those experiences in life considered very important to them. In this work, they are wrapped around how Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek) face reality. Is he a Great Pretender, or something else? I was amused at how this non-Queen song is slyly referenced within minutes of the film’s start. The precedent is set.

In musicals, the tunes help bookend key themes. In a movie partly directed by Bryan Singer and finished by Dexter Fletcher is in how this lead singer comes to face life in his rise to stardom. Important in this work is in how the introduction sees this lad of Indian descent, now living in Britain, deals with living on his own, “Somebody to Love,” is the first track heard. When young Bulsara does not want to become part of the family business (much less his heritage), he’s ready to move out. The early 70s was a time when the music scene exploded in many ways. Many talents we consider legends today were just getting started.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Supernatural Sounds to Rock Out To for Halloween

29 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Music and All Hallow’s Eve—throughout the years, many bands have offered hits like the Monster Mash or solo acts, featuring Thriller. They are goofy fun. With rock musicals, they go the extra mile and tell a story. I made a list years ago of productions that one can see theatrically, but I got to wondering: what about those albums that do not have a stage show attached to it?

Listeners can listen to one track or hear the entire album to understand each song in a  greater context. This list I offer is certainly worth cranking up the All Hallow’s Eve season, especially for those in the mood for something slightly different from the mainstream. In no particular order:

Iced Earth
Night of the Stormrider (1991)

Heavy Metal dominates this list for good reason. It’s the perfect musical genre to tell recount tales of the occult, especially with the type of sonic melodies heard. It’s not to say other genres or the music of Mozart can not do the same; the composition of how the notes are organized, the way the lyrics are presented and how it works in harmony (or disharmony) says everything.

When the story focuses in on a man feeling betrayed, that is the making for a decent plot. He’s turned his back on Faith, and the elemental forces of hate use him to destroy the world. In the case of Amadeus (the movie deserving honourable mention in this list), Antonio Salieri did everything he could to torment his foe but ended up haunted by his deeds instead.
Continue reading

Vancouver’s SPARK Animation 2018 Picks & Highlights

23 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

SPARK Animation is back to highlight the best in what the medium offered in the past year. This event runs from October 25 to 28, and Vancouver will be abuzz with incredible talents showing off the latest works from many talented filmmakers. It is also a great place to meet up-and-coming talents, network and see the best of the best. The highlight this year is from Korea, The Moon in the Hidden Woods and from Japan, Short Films: Modest Heroes of these Times is a themed collection of works from Studio Ponoc (who made Mary and the Witch’s Flower)

Not to be outshone, The National Film Board of Canada has beloved favourites Animal Behavior and Shop Class being showcased. The latter is making its Vancouver premiere. These works are Canadian made. In addition to these works, the following will be making screening on the big screen: Continue reading

Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA — Portrait of Both the Artist & the Man. Screenings July 28th!

23 Jul

cid:image003.jpg@01D41F72.14D76420

Vancouver – Vancity – July 28
Toronto – TIFF Bell LightBox – August 3
Calgary – Globe Cinema – August 10
Montreal – CinemaModerne – August 18

“Please fans with its drifting, lyrical, and
thoughtful tenor, echoing so much of this artist’s music.”
– Dennis Harvey, Variety

“The film serves as a stirringly poetic meditation
on the pursuit of creation in the face of mortality.”
– Michael Rechtshaffen, LA Times

The official selection of La Biennale di Venezia 2017 and Tribeca Film Festival 2018 – Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA directed by Stephen Nomura Schible, will play its way into theatres across Canada beginning July 27.

One of the most important artists of our era, Ryuichi Sakamoto has had a prolific career spanning over four decades, from techno-pop stardom to Oscar-winning film composer. The evolution of his music has coincided with his life journeys. Following Fukushima, Sakamoto became an iconic figure in Japan’s social movement against nuclear power. As Sakamoto returns to music following cancer, his haunting awareness of life crisis leads to a resounding new masterpiece. Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda is an intimate portrait of both the artist and the man.

Director Schible is an American Japanese film-maker who grew up in a bilingual and international household in Tokyo. Actively involved in Japanese culture and media, he found Sakamoto’s life-long struggle as an anti-nuclear activist to be awe-inspiring. In a country with tight control on political media, mainstream outlets were reluctant to address Sakamoto’s stance on nuclear weapons. Schible knew there was a story to be told. Not a political film but rather one that explores how Sakamoto’s awareness of crises had developed and how it has brought change to his musical expression.

Using sound as a building block, the director hopes audiences can feel the story through their ears as well as their eyes.

This mesmerizing film starts its theatrical run across Canada, beginning July 27.