Students of folklore and the humanities will adore Mami Wata, a goddess whom not everyone is aware of.
Playing July 20 and 21st at Fantasia Film Festival 2023 For tickets, please visit this link.
Beliefs in the goddess Mami Wata stretch from Senegal to as far as Zambia and in what C.J. “Fiery” Obasi’s crafts in his movie about her is not only mesmerising but also modern. She’s more than just another mermaid / patron deity to those cities that still venerate her to this day. Her ability to cure ailments isn’t the only reason. The enormous snake that accompanies her is a symbol of her divine authority.
In the isolated village of Iyi, what the people are facing is multifold. Mama Efe (Rita Edochie)’s role as ruler is challenged. That’s because some people are dying from an unknown disease, and she can’t cure this ailment. One child has crossed over already. While some want her to step down, others are asking if their goddess has forsaken them.
The 3D illusion in Krut The Mythic Wings is a pleasant touch. The only shame is that you can not run and fight in all four directions like some modern fighters.
Players must master dodging and be skilled at slaying enemies in Krut The Mythic Wings without getting hit if they are to survive this multi platform video game. It’s available on many systems. If that isn’t hard enough, collecting the soul orbs is even worse. Thus, only the worthy need to apply. Here, you play an eagle-headed warrior of the Garuda race and have to overcome all the obstacles in six levels to master the elements. Having that skill is required before being allowed to get mystical armour before taking on the rock ogres again.
If you have seen the Indonesian movie, Krut: The Himmaphan Warriors, which this game is inspired by, then it’s almost worth comparing. The trailer (see below) shows off a PS3 level graphics akin the very first God of War PS3 videogame. The version we get to play is crisper and much more colourful. And by the mid-way point, we see how this version of Krut gains his Mythic Wings. To note, despite what Google says, it is not available on either Disney Plus or Netflix (Canada). I had no luck finding it from online sources. The cost to import the DVD from YesAsia is crazy when you don’t take advantage of the free international shipping offer (i.e. order a lot), or you can search eBay for it.
Demigod, The Legend Begins may well be a prequel to Legend of the Sacred Stone, because Su Huan-jen is part of the cast.
Played at Fantasia 2022 July 23, 2022
Demigod The Legend Begins, is a visual treat. Not only do we get to watch Taiwanese glove puppet theatre on the big screen, but also the story is epic! Through the magic of editing, these characters come alive.
However, I must wonder if Bunraku is the appropriate term to use to describe this style of puppetry. The motions of these medium-sized dolls are achieved via hiding the puppeteers with simple tricks of the camera. Instead of watching a stage show, we are watching it though the eyes of the cinemtographer–where we have medium shots and closeups of the characters instead of wide shots to show these action figures in motion. In truth, this technique is the centuries-old tradition of budaixi—Chinese opera using glove puppetry. This movie updates the music with modern day electric guitars, and I’m fairly sure one song is taking cues from Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
When a robe needs to look like it’s rustling, good ol’ fashioned fans are used. When the background needs to come alive, we have CGI replacing those green screen moments. Also, we have some well placed smoke effects and cups of blood to splash around when needed! The presentation is as good as those classic wuxia Hong Kong films from the 80s. But I can’t help but chuckle when they move off camera like a Muppet. That’s okay; Demigod The Legend Begins is not meant to be as perfect as other films using marionation.
Krut: The Mythic Wings is coming soon for gamers to take delight in! Not only is the artwork fantastic but also it takes inspiration from the legends and lore of Southeast Asia. To see the fusion of Indonesian, Cambodian and Thai beliefs (to name a few) makes up what I’m finding in this recently released trailer (see below).
There’s a lot to like if the trailer is any sign. Trying to identify the menagerie of creatures won’t be easy unless you know the legends, but they certainly demonstrate their ruthlessness in this hack-and-slash! Personally, I’m hoping the success will mean toys or a digital product line so I can have it grace my computer screen or wall.
The art and story in Roye Okupe‘s Windmaker looks like it’s inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender and I think the homage is intentional. Instead of a familiar tale, we have something different that draws from African lore. The Dragon Stones do more than represent the elements; they play a role in the broader universe that this author created. These jewels also grant the holder super abilities.
But some knowledge of this techno-fantasy is required: The Kingdom of Atala was invaded by the Olon Jin centuries ago, and these “false gods” weren’t helping the people at all. The citizens revolted, and these aliens were banished to an island instead of back to whence they came. Over the centuries, this country developed at a pace to perhaps even rival Wakanda from the MCU–but as for who rules this kingdom, that’s uncertain. There’s corruption in the government, and a hero needs to rise within the ranks to prevent another dictatorship from forming.