Tag Archives: Quebec

[Fantasia 2019] Making that Steampunk Connection with the Everyday

2 Aug

steampunkBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

To find upcoming showtimes, please visit the official website here.

Steampunk may simply be characterized as Victorian age sensibilities with technology powered by steam, but there’s more to it than just that. The literary worlds of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells are just one example of what this genre represents. Another is in how it invites the imagination to ponder alternate possibilities if western civilization went a different way.

The documentary, Steampunk Connection, made its world premiere at Fantasia Fest 2019 on August 1st, 2019 and it describes this genre as a fictitious, futuristic trope that gives us the means to question today’s technological revolution by comparing it to an obsolete technology of a bygone era.

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The Vintage Tempest’s Picks of the Fantasia International Film Festival 2019

15 Jul

Image result for fantasia film festival 2019Runs: July 11 – August 1st
Montreal, Quebec

The Fantasia International Film Festival is in full swing, taking place in Montreal, Quebec with plenty of works to view and a wonderful look into all things fantastic. The genres also include horror, science-fiction and drama. In this show, the focus is on the extraordinary, hence the name. I encourage anyone who loves these genres to come to this show and see the world premieres that take place here.

Of particular note is a premiere screening of Shelagh McLeod’s Astronaut (review coming) starring Richard Dreyfuss. Arielle Dombasle’s Crystal Palace is a French production which only some can describe–a hallucinatory experience, a kitsch and camp kaleidoscope with surrealist dialogue and cardboard costumes (literally), all with a dash of meta-cinema. I’m particularly excited for the release of Takahiro Umehara’s The Moon in the Hidden Woods which blends steampunk, Korean folk styles and otherworldly fantasy into a tale of a world bereft of a lunar guardian. Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s Night God is said to be a waking nightmare, an unknowable maze of gigantic moving paintings, reminding one at times of the painter Carel Willink.

But it’s not the movies that defines a show. The huge list of shorts showcase the imagination of many a new filmmaker. Swiss animator Nils Hedinger’s Kuap looks like it may borrow from Hayao Miyazaki in narrative, Simon Beaupré’s Evil James Bond vs World War Z is a must for those who love crazy crossover ideas. Those who love Chinese folklore should look at Wan Jinyue and Du Jinzhi‘s The Girl and the Serpent.

The list does not end here. From the press release:

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Sorry Toy Story, Mr. P – The Story of the Real Mr. Potato Head is Funnier!

25 Sep

1184948_500545486699996_1927149996_nBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

After discovering the wonderful whimsy of Quebec-based Belzébrute’s theatrical productions with thanks to Intrepid Theatre, I’m looking forward to hearing about what they have planned next. They came to Victoria, BC to perform a puppet show, Mr. P – The Story of the Real Mr. Potato Head, to help cure the post-Fringe festival blues (they were invited over, from what I heard) and upon going online to check out what else they have made, I really like to see Manga! This other production is one part comic-book, equal parts anime and inspired by history. Hopefully, they will return and bring this story next time.

But for a night which paid a lovely tribute to the musical entertainment pop culture scene, Mr. P has gone through it all. That is, since the days of silent film, he’s been around and he did it “his way” ala Frank Sinatra. He’s a versatile performer who can channel the best of each era’s best in his own act; from said talent to Elvis to Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury, this potato can win many a crowd! For this vegetable, he’s mimed and played in many a venue. Watching this show is kind of like watching The Swedish Chef live; there’s a bit of nonsense in what he says, and you can hear what he’s saying. Two master puppeteers work hard to make him come alive. You have to see this show to see how it’s done, and when he does the splits, I could not help but grin. Just like the toy, you can change his eyes and ears to change his expressions.

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