Tag Archives: Victoria Film Festival

The Vintage Tempest’s Top Picks on What to See at the 2018 Victoria Film Festival

11 Jan

26198139_10155030425071479_1599463825401494233_o.jpg

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The folks behind organizing the movies at the Victoria Film Festival (taking place Feb 2 to 11th) never fails to amaze with the diversity offered. The 2018 show will not only enthuse independent film aficionados but also appease with movies not only from the land of the rising sun but also the emerald isle. The quirky documentary School Life was previewed. Anyone interested in a lesser-known version of Hogwarts life (sans magic and adventure) will find a different story here.

The opening gala promises to whisk audiences to Scotland with Waterboys. This comedy-drama will make its Canadian premiere here in Victoria, British Columbia. Not to be confused with the band of the same name, perhaps we might get surprised with the party taking place at The Bay Centre‘s Centre Court following this movie.

Special events like Sips & Cinema and the Virtual Reality Workshop are added bonuses. The special guest this year is Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City). Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Cory Bowles (Trailer Park Boys) round out the initial round of announcements. Gillen can be considered to be playing himself in the film Pickups, a drama about the bizarre life of a jobbing actor suffering from insomnia. Bowles is making his feature film directorial debut with Bad Cop. (link goes to showtimes)

My picks from this year’s show include:

Continue reading

Advertisements

[Victoria Film Festival 2017] Dreaming About My Life as a Zucchini & Upcoming Dates

13 Feb

ma_vie_de_courgetteBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

GKIDS USA release date:
February 24, 2017

Once in a while, a stop-motion animated film will amaze. My Life as a Zucchini (the English title of the Swiss-French Ma vie de Courgette) has a wonderful artistic design to it, reminiscent of Tim Burton’s wide-eyed look. This movie is based on the book by Gilles Paris and just like it, the story touches on the tough themes of how kids dealing with abandonment. At the same time, audiences get to learn about what establishing of a family, related or not, means. Icare (who prefers the nickname Zucchini – Courgette in French) is the protagonist, and after a quick look at his home life, his next day looks like a complete disaster. He may have or not have accidentally caused the death of his mother. She was drunk and aggressive towards her boy, so it’s tough to say if what happened was her fault or his. We never truly know when the titles roll.

Without any adults in his life, he now faces an uncertain future while living at an orphanage. He finds others like him and in some people’s eyes, they are damaged goods because of why they were placed here. Simon, the bully of this estate reveals all, but after an instance where Courgette shows he’s not afraid, becomes his friend (perhaps maybe too quickly) and as the two come to realize their existence is meaningless, just where this movie goes depends on how quick viewers are to notice the signs.

Continue reading

[Victoria Film Festival 2017] Redefining the Ghost Story with Personal Shopper

12 Feb

mediaBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

This movie will get a wider release in the USA on March 10.

To delicately write and direct a ghost story often means understanding the underlying aspects of what makes this sub genre a delight to watch, if not read. Most stories are focused on an individual feeling isolated instead of terrorized and in some cases, the protagonist feels like a great weight is upon him or her. To be free means all of that is lifted.

The appeal of Olivier Assayas’ movie, Personal Shopper, is in how this subject is gently explored. He does a great job of making a film that is more of a thriller than a Woman in Black style spookfest. The heroine in this story, Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart), does not like her job of being a fashion barista for celebrity-model Kyra (Nora Von Waldstätten) whom she rarely sees and fortunately (or not) she has a side job of being a medium. She can sense dead people and perhaps help them move on. But when she has her own dead weight of dealing with the death of her twin brother is more gifted, just what she’s looking for is actually closure. She is waiting for a sign from him.

Continue reading

[Victoria Film Festival 2017] Dealing with Karma in The Suffering of Ninko

11 Feb

the-suffering-of-ninko-film-posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The trailer for the movie, Suffering of Ninko, is deceptively wonderful. We are presented with what appears to be a comedy about Ninko (Masato Tsujioka), a novice Buddhist monk, whom many a woman wants to cuddle up with. There’s even two male members of his order who show interest, and to see how he struggles to stay celibate is at the heart of this rated R film. Reciting his mantras is easy, but when he is presented with physical challenges, averting his eyes is not. However, there’s more he must face to test his virtue.

The people from Edo-period Japan tends to have a deeper spiritual connection with the world. Whether that’s in the art they produce or their every day life, the supernatural is generally believed to exist everywhere. When rendered to a form either on paper or with a word, there’s a life given to the work. With literature, it gives the narrative a higher meaning. In the full 70minute film, just what this tale means is worth exploring. Is it folklore, a Brothers Grimm type tale or symphonic prose?

Continue reading