Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Reading Undergods as a Post Apocalyptic Gothic Thriller

1 Sep

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 on Sept 2, 5:00 PST. Buy your virtual ticket here.


Chino Moya’s Undergods has everything I want in a horror anthology. The plan was to build a utopian future, but somehow, along the way, paradise is lost. What we see is a the post apocalyptic world of Eastern Europe. The stories K (Johann Myers) and Z (Géza Röhrig) tell each other–as they search for bodies (lost souls)–is their odd way of consoling each other.

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When “Jumbo” is a Tilt-a-Hurl in this Quirky Romance

31 Aug

Jumbo (2020) By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 on Aug 31, 23:15 EST. Buy your virtual ticket here.

Spielberg doesn’t really need to mentor the talented Zoé Wittock. Her shorts offer great ideas featuring female protagonists struggling with their identity, and her feature film debut certainly shines. It’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Iron Giant. We will never know the origins of the park ride attraction that Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) finds a connection with.

Her rambunctious mother (Emmanuelle Bercot) and beau of the week don’t make for a simple home life. She’s not really connected with her peers either. Her only escape is when she’s at work, alone with her amusement park rides. One night, she checks out the latest installation, a high-flying hurl-a-whirl (as shown in the movie poster) she calls “Jumbo.”

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Highlights from My First Fantasia

23 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.

Fantasia Film Festival may seem short with feature length animated works this year because one title was pulled. My response is to check out the My First Fantasia Programme. There’s more than enough pieces to sate anyone’s appetite! Plus, the other packaged presentations include mini tales of fantasy, sci-fi and experimental works. There’s a mini festival within a festival if you spend your time exploring the talents featured here.

Realistically, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival is the event for fans of this medium. When my love for this genre outweighs Asian works, I had to do a marathon run of this particular set of works this weekend. I’m particularly interested with seeing what emerging talents from around the world are offering. Some are certainly ready to be noticed by Studio Ghibli, Studio Canal, Cartoon Saloon, or even PIXAR.

A few shorts are repeated in the other themed sets; they only help reinforce the concept being presented. Some are animated in CGI, others are hand drawn, a few are stop motion and the rest use a blend of other techniques—which include clay, Adobe Animation (formerly Flash) or otherwise. They are all used to great effect to convey a sense of wonder, whimsy or surreal.

This list highlights the pieces which I found the most engaging from each themed package:

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Useless Humans Beams Up to VOD!

14 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date:
June 14

Quiver Distribution
Available on iTunes and other VOD platforms

Useless humans wastes no time letting viewers know we’re the thick of an alien incursion. This movie follows not only Brian Skaggs’ (Josh Zuckerman from ˆ) journey from zero to hero, but also those of his friends–Zackery (Joey Kern), Louis (Rushi Kota) and Jessie (Davida Williams)–too. Toss them into a cabin in the woods scenario for good measure, and just don’t expect the Evil Dead to appear here!

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