Tag Archives: Romance

Changing Faces with Asako I & II

5 Feb

Image result for asako i & iiBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Remaining shows at the Victoria Film Festival
February 5 | 9:15 PM | Capital 6
Victoria, BC

Presented by The Japan Foundation.
Tickets available online or at the door.

Idealized romances are a figment of the Hollywood imagination. To find that one true love is a subject for plenty of films, and in Asako I & II, this strange title suggests the title character (played with naïve innocence by Erika Karata) will see plenty of change in her life. She’s a doting figure who falls for Baku (Masahiro Higashide) like the best romantic tale from the golden age of cinema, complete with fireworks, and this drifter gives this film a plot.

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Kitt & Jane visits the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival & The Apocalypse! A Review

31 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)


Location:
Langham Court Theatre
805 Langham Crt
Victoria, BC

Remaining Shows:
Sep 1, 10:00 pm
Sep 2, 2:30 pm

Kitt & Jane is quirky enough to make me wonder if co-creator Ingrid Hansen also drew inspiration from Disney’s Star vs The Forces of Evil. If this cartoon ever gets made into a live action film, I feel she should be cast! The efforts she put into the characters she plays is unfettered and unique. She co-created this show with Kathleen Greenfield. The subtitle to this work is An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future and I can see where the interactive comes in (more on this later). Other shows this play drew influence include Gravity Falls and Adventure Time. I feel Star is closer to this play than the others when considering I have been recently watching too much of this toon during DisneyXD’s free preview month.

This show is perhaps the most technically extravagant. In between the projection work, lighting effects and musical performances (including a real live streaming event; folks can follow along on #kittandjane. Just where it can be streamed, I could only find older streams than the latest), the tale between two prepubescent teens is especially poignant. I noticed the growing relationship more than the other story beats. Kitt (Hansen) believes the world is coming to an end, and the boy who stands by her side (oddly named Jane, played by the incomparable Rod Peter Jr.) is with her thick and thin!

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Breaking Down Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

20 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers could not have expressed “Breakdown” any better and South Korean animator/director/storyteller Chang Hyung-yun illustrated it when he created Satellite Girl and Milk Cow. This work debuted in 2014, and its home video release by Shout! Factory / GKIDS for international audiences this month is long overdue. Not a lot of bonus material is included, and both the original and English dub was viewed. The latter presentation is decent, and it captures some nuances from the original work to make this work accessible for younger audiences to follow.

For animation aficionados, the technical quality is on par with many a cinematic product. It ranks right up there with many a Disney movie. For folklore enthusiasts, this work is puzzling at times and is not too hard to figure out. It draws on ancient shamanism to explain why witches and warlocks are prevalent in Korea. Less is said about those mortals who suddenly get transformed into anthropomorphic creatures. When they suffer heartache, a black fog descends upon them and they become shape-shifters. When Kyeong-cheon sees Eun-jin (his girlfriend) take an interest in another boy, he’s ready to call it quits than to ask her about it. As a result, whenever he is stressed and wallows in self-pity, he transforms into a milk cow. Alternative forms include zebras and donkeys.

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High Chinese Fantasy is Alive in Big Fish & Begonia

31 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Big Fish & Begonia () is a beautifully animated film which takes its afterlife seriously. The people living in a mystical Chinese Middle Earth type realm live harmoniously with the elements but when an individual upsets the natural order, the world will retaliate and the cosmic order will need rebalancing.

This movie debuted in 2016 and it got limited play at select film festivals. After two years, it has finally gotten notice by Shout! Factory and FUNimation. Hopefully, another work, I Am Nezha (我是哪吒) will see release. While one is traditionally animated (2D), the other is 3D. Big Fish is a dramatic product whereas Nezha has more comedy action. To catch either work on the big screen is tough; the release from last month only had a handful of theatres doing short runs.

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