May the 4th will soon be upon us for those Star Wars fans who understand the reference. Usually, this day will mean a lot more than just enjoying the nine film saga at home. With movie theatres shut down due to Covid-19 and mass gatherings not the norm, Charlie Ross is giving back to fans in the best way possible–a livestream of his One Man Star Wars act. Reviews and interviews of this talented performer’s other One Man shows can be found on otakunoculture.com, here (on Stranger Things) and here (chat).
Ross will be performing from UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium at 5 p.m. (PST) on May 4 and interested parties can bookmark the streaming page here.
No it’s not the Crisis of Infinite Earths or anything as big. During this time where many Victorians are self-isolating because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the choice to head out to even satisfy the simplest of cravings is not without some danger. Thankfully, some operations are coming to the rescue! In addition to Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes and Door Dash bringing your favourite meals to you, just what else is there?
We need to support our local small businesses! With reduced sales and no customers coming into the stores, some have decided to change their hours of operations. It’s believed some will not even return at all. Up and along Johnson Street are a bunch of wonderful shops; to satisfy the geek side of me, Curious Comics is offering delivery of their stock, Legends Comics has pick up at their door and a few others are following in the footsteps of the latter operation. The diners here are suffering the most.
Plenty of Chinese cooking philosophy can be learned in the release of Zao Dao’s comic anthology Cuisine Chinoise: 5 Tales of Life and Food. Dark Horse Comics is publishing the translated edition and it is set for release June 2020.
In what’s key to this culture’s style of cuisine is in different ingredients gel together. It’s not just about the tastes, but also in how it brings people together. It’s said to bring different people of conflicting ideologies together. Just look at Voltron: Legendary Defender. In the finale. Hunk (the Yellow Paladin) believes he can bring feuding empires together at the dinner table. Peace can be made one meal at a time. Mending old wounds can be tough, and when some food has healing properties, perhaps all that’s needed is a careful time to taste that fine red wine.
Not only are the principles of yin and yang involved to bring balance, there’s other facts to be found that nearly all Chinese master chefs share. Key to bringing this balance to the force are also the five flavours–Sour (酸 suān); Sweetness (甜 tián or 甘 gān); Spice (辛 xīn); Bitter (苦 kǔ) and Salt (咸 xián). These specific natures are reflected for those who read Dao’s work when it was originally published in France. Editions Mosquito handled this release and those impatient can hunt Abebooks.com for a copy.
The overlap between food, family, and culture are seamlessly highlighted in this special “cook book.” From insects looking for a meal to a man whose passion for cooking is the only hope of maintaining a family legacy, these wonderfully illustrated stories explore the rich and humorous world within while showcasing the beautiful relationship between Chinese culture and food.
Cuisine Chinoise: 5 Tales of Life and Food has two release dates. Some may consider comic shops are getting the appetizer on June 10, 2020 and hopefully a main course (book signing perhaps?) at bookstores June 23, 2020. The 96-page paperback graphic novel anthology is available for pre-order through Amazon and at your local comic shop for $19.99.
From September 17 to October 13, 2019, the Belfry Theatre will present The Children by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood. Directed by Michael Shamata, this localized version stars Nancy Palk (Hazel), Brenda Robins (Rose), and Joseph Ziegler (Robin).
Brenda Robins was (as the delightful 90-year old Vera) in our production of 4000 Miles earlier this year. Nancy Palk and Joseph Ziegler (who are married in real life) are returning after making their Belfry debuts in Da (in 1979). The three actors are longtime friends.
Playing at the
Victoria Film Festival
Victoria, British Columbia
Feb 1 to 10th
Tue | Feb 5 | 9:00 PM | SilverCity #3
Thur | Feb 7 | 6:15 PM | SilverCity #3
Back in 2011, I saw Chef of the South Polar (review link) at the Victoria Film Festival (VFF), and I learned a good noodle consists of a lot more than the love put into kneading the dough and creating the strands. Kansui is one part sodium bicarbonate and many other parts other trace minerals. To put them together in perfect harmony is part of many an Asian culture.
This year marks this event’s 25th anniversary (Taking place from Feb 1 to 10) and Ramen Shop (Ramen Teh) will continue to teach me something new in terms of how to celebrate life and food. Life lessons are often part of the theme in these movies, and I’m looking forward to what this year’s crop of films will offer.
19080-96th Avenue Unit 8
Surrey BC V4N 3R3
While everyone loves to have a good sandwich, not every body visits the same place to have it made … and hear the life story of the shop owner at the same time. The Sandwich Nazi made waves last year at the film festivals. As I wrote in my review of the film, “A trip to the industrial neighbourhood of Port Kells in Surrey, BC is needed to experience ’s capricious if not salacious behaviour in The Sandwich Nazi. Yes, the allusions to Seinfeld are there, and if the two had to be compared, Kahil is funnier.”
Filmmaker Lewis Bennett said in an interview on otakunoculture.com about how he loves how juvenile humour can play out on screen (i.e. when the cameras are rolling). “I’ve been drawn to people like Salam since I was in kindergarten. He kept making us laugh so we wanted to spend more time with him. The project started with a short documentary and as we were making that film we felt that there was a whole lot more to his story so we expanded it into a feature,” revealed Bennett.
I thought about visiting this operation on my last recent trip over to the Lower Mainland since I was there with a friend driving us around, but alas … it was on a day when the shop was not open. Fortunately, for those people who have not seen this funny, serious and somber documentary, it is now available on iTunes and Google Play. Additional services include Vimeo on Demand, Amazon Instant Video, and Microsoft Video.
To stay abreast with other releases, including a physical home video release (let’s hope there will be outtakes!), please visit them on: