Tag Archives: Musical

Trying to Figure Out Life’s Little Problems in Definition Please

24 Sep

defolkeaseBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

L.A. Asian Pacifc Film Festival
Regal L.A. LIVE:
A Barco Innovation Center

Sept 25, 2021
4:00 pm

Sujata Day’s debut movie Definition Please offers a Bollywood-style charm about Monica Chowdry (played by Day) dealing with life many years after winning the spelling bee as a child. Her friends and family are proud. They assumed big things would be in store for her later in life. None of that fame stood the test of time and it seems she’s transfixed with living in the comfort of what is familiar instead of taking on new challenges.

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[Fantasia 2021] When All You Need is Love, Life & Goldfish

21 Aug

Sukutte goran (2021) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fantasia Film Festival 2021
Spoiler Alert

Love, Life and Goldfish (すくってごらん) is one of those rare Japanese musicals where it’s tough not to smile at the end. The tunes are catchy, and I’d buy the soundtrack. I’ll have to watch it again when it hits other festivals (or arrives on home video) to affirm one minor detail which stuck out near the end—namely, was that fan featuring the shape of Jingoro the cat from Kimagure Orange Road (KOR)? 

Makoto Kashiba (Matsuya Onoe) used to work at a prestigious bank in Tokyo, but due to some weird mistake, he gets sent out to work at this firm’s operation in a small town. He can’t deal, much less cope. He had a bright future as an accountant … or not. It seems he was never pleased with his life even when he thought he was going places with his firm. I’m fairly sure he tried to speak his mind, and it was frowned upon, hence his transfer and personality change. 

One night while getting to know this new township, he meets Yoshino Ikoma (Kanako Momota). She runs an arcade of sorts. One game involves participants catching as many goldfish as possible in a set amount of time. Its significance is not just about the fact there’s plenty of fish in the sea but also, why should he catch one? In this film’s case, why fall in love with this particular girl? The answer is simple: he was smitten. She’s very much like Hikaru Hiyama.

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Victoria, BC’s Fringe Festival is Back! Journey with Alice as …

15 Aug

Victoria FringeAug 13 to Sept 24 — INTREPID THEATRERuns Aug 13 – Sept 24

Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street

Alice
Aug 13th to 18th
Tickets can be purchased in advance here.

The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival is back, and it’s adapted to allow enthusiasts of the dramatic arts to attend shows in person and online. That is, for the live stage shows, instead of rows of seats, we have tables. This change makes sense as we are still in a pandemic, and it allows for some distancing between social bubbles so that small groups of friends can stick together when going to a performance.

Kicking off the 2021 edition, the shows are spread throughout four weeks at The Metro theatre venue. All the in-person events will take place here, and for once, we’re not running around town to get to another show. One year, the Fringe will return to that format, but until the health officers say we’re past the health scare, I believe Intrepid Theatre will stick to this new format.

To read a list of my picks of the Fringe, I’ve published a guide on my food & theatre site, Twohungryblokes.com

In the show to kick off the Fringe, Alice explores Wonderland, not in the Lewis Carrol sense but ala Carl Jung. This young girl is losing her mom. In the opening act, she’s asked to see the doctor. Afraid, instead of wanting to face the inevitable, she steps into a void and hits a barrier. 

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VFFOnline: Navigating Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s Labyrinth of Cinema

8 Feb

Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) poster.jpgBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here.
All films begin Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Geo-locked to residents in British Columbia

Spoiler Alert

Nobuhiko Ōbayashi‘s Labyrinth of Cinema is not only a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood but also an anti-war film. The many genres this era introduced helped define the shape of entertainment still to come, and its fondly honoured. We see a bit of everything in this film, from animation to comedy to sci-fi, and there’s even a splash of horror offered after a few musical moments. The best bits are with the romances, though.

The films of today are a lot more sophisticated in terms of realism. This filmmaker went old school to make this movie, and he wanted his performers to overact. They are in on the joke. He uses those techniques to emphasize why the modern (nuclear) age is terrible. The realism is just that, and the fiction is in technicolour. Unlike Ishirō Honda‘s intent in Gojira (1954), this work makes a different commentary about why going to war is bad (from the eyes of one side in the conflict). Also included is the fear of where humanity is headed–whether or not any future conflicts to come will destroy humanity. Ultimately, his goal is to show us why engaging in the art of war (and not in the Sun Tzu sense) is bad.

Ōbayashi makes use of humour to hammer in the point. He also broke a lot of rules from movie making 101 when he was in post-production, namely the editing of Labyrinth of Cinema. I was taught to avoid jump cuts in my newsroom videos, but he’s gratuitous in using this technique. The plot here is non-linear, and he purposely micro-budgeted the set design in some of this film’s best romantic moments to make it picturesque, like it’s from a painting. More green screen sets were used to distinguish the many realities explored. My guess is that the only proper place was a movie theatre and everything else was digitally created.

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LAAPFF 2020 Animated Shorts Spotlight

14 Oct

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film FestivalBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from October 1, 2020 at 12pm PT to October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to find listings on Eventive.

In addition to the previous animated works which I have looked at playing at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, there’s plenty more. The works that are available range from experimental to enduring, and of those that are available, I’m glad to report that one on my list has world-wide distribution.

The following are my favourites:

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