Tag Archives: Steampunk

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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Reflections on Fan Expo Vancouver 2017

16 Nov

215d2-fanexpovancouverBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The variety of nerdy interests represented at Fan Expo Vancouver every year will differ. They have certainly become the crossroads of where all kinds of pop culture can converge, hence the X in their #FXV hashtag. While previous shows may feel more jam-packed than recent, this year’s event only affirms what I suspected from 2016 — this local event is getting connected with various television productions which film around the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. This event is settling into a groove most will approve and I can only imagine it will get better. Although years away, I’m sure the organizers will have something grand planned when year ten hits. But that’s four years away.

This festival moved from April to November two years ago, making the expense of staying at hotels a touch better during the offseason and offering to both exhibitors and fans a chance to rest before setting up for the next show. Epic Photo Ops deserves special mention for effectively managing the lineups for those seeking a memento with their favourite group of (or with a particular) performer.

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Grant Gustin does not appear at many conventions so those hoping to meet him will have to do so at this show. As The Flash in The CW‘s flagship show, I can imagine he’s not easy to meet. To see both him and the entire STAR labs team (minus Jesse L. Martin) on stage is usually a San Diego Comic Con Hall H scale event, and fans of the show got it at Fan Expo in Vancouver, BC Canada! This panel was packed, and anyone there saw the sweet chemistry he has with Candice Patton in real life too. The star of this panel, however, was Zoe Patton, a cute canine which no doubt won many hearts. Viewers who saw this week’s episode, “When Harry met Harry,” got to understand what the Council of Wells was about, and Tom Cavanagh talked about how this segment was pieced together.

When considering the number of television and film productions going on in this corner of the world, folks hoping for a celebrity sighting will find attending this event better than to wait during a film/television shoot. A chance to interact with a star is never guaranteed when the set is a workplace. From the massive list of CW comic book based shows (Riverdale, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and iZombie) to movies like Deadpool 2 — which ended production the month before — just who will attend are decided months before. Attendees will have to hope there are no sudden changes the week before due to work (or family, like Stephen Amell had) obligations coming up last-minute. I’m sure there were attendees hoping to spot Ryan Reynolds or Kevin Smith (who did appear in 2016).

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Updates & A Foodie’s Guide to Fan Expo Vancouver 2017

7 Nov

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Residents far and wide will soon be descending upon Fan Expo Vancouver (Nov 10-12, 2017) in British Columbia. Now into its sixth year, they are having a Steampunk exhibition where folks can learn about this subculture and their Artist’s Alley looks bigger than the retail/exhibitor’s space! In the television world, The CW is being very well represented. The big three — Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow — is the spotlight. The list is long and on the week of, adjustments have been made: Maisie Richardson-Seller has been added, and due to work commitments, Stephen Amell, Caity Lotz and Michael Shanks are unable to appear.

This media side will have fans who are not residents of Vancouver get to meet these performers without having to go stalking around in an active film set and herded away by production assistants. People are allowed to watch, as long as they are not in the view of the camera.

I’m always anxious to return to this show to revisit a few places to dine in! After attending this event for five years now and visiting almost all of the inexpensive diners around the Coal Harbour area, I feel I can finally offer my picks. This list will also be updated should I discover a new establishment worth mentioning. By clicking on the operation’s name, you will get to see the original review of these operations:

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A Historical Analysis & Review into The Empire of Corpses

16 Feb

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

*Screened at the 2016 Victoria Film Festival
*Spoiler Alert

The idea of having zombies shambling about in a steampunk world as slaves is a great concept to play with in the Japanese animated movie The Empire of Corpses. When technology made advanced leaps thanks to the success of Charles Babbage (the grandfather of computing) building the analytical engine, Victor Frankenstein reanimating a mix of dead body parts (he’s a real figure in this fictional world) and Duncan MacDougall discovering the deceased loses “21 grams” of mass (their soul) upon death, science fiction author Satoshi Itō (伊藤 聡) aka Project Itoh crafted a dystopian Victorian world-embracing death instead of fearing it.

In our historical understanding of this past, the preoccupation with the dead was because mortality rates were high; many loved ones passed before their time or in wars from afar. Séances were common because many people from around the British Commonwealth wanted to communicate with the deceased for many a reason. To talk to them again offered closure. These details might have been addressed on a deeper level in the novel but in the animated film, a fair bit of this age’s spiritualist practices are not as deeply explored. What’s exhumed is surface level.

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