After seeing the movie Ramen Teh during the 2019 Victoria Film Festival, I left the theatre with a craving for bak kut teh (Meat Bone Tea). This film suggests the broth in this dish and ramen are similar, though, with the former, more herbs are used. It soothes the soul, and as this film suggests perhaps also help mend fences.
With this movie, it not only offers a lesson in the origins of this noodle dish but also explores the foodie scene in Singapore. The story looks at how Masato (Takumi Saito) seeks to reconnect with a part of the family he’s almost forgotten. When his Japanese father Kazuo (Tsuyoshi Ihara) passes away, he cannot quite continue to run the family ramen shop soon. There are bitter memories, mostly in how distant otōsan has become over the years. No reason is given right away, but it’s quickly revealed he’s never recovered from the loss of his beautiful wife, Mei Lian (Beatrice Chien). Since that departure, he’s become emotionally distant and a complete workaholic.
The 2018 Victoria Film Festival is in full swing and every year, there’s at least one foodie themed piece of cinema for me to look at. This year’s offering is a very curiously named, All You Can Eat, Buddha. Writer / Director Ian Lagarde makes his feature-length debut with this work. According to actor Silvio Arriola who plays Valentino, the manager of the Cuban resort El Palacio — this story was conceived when this filmmaker was vacationing in Mexico, observing life around the resort he was at and having a particular Vedic text on hand to read.
The significance of what food represents to Mike (played to great stoic effect by Ludovic Berthillot) is not what this film is about. This protagonist is often juxtaposed to the backdrop of the sea, giving him a godlike presence, and suggesting he is on a spiritual retreat. The few picturesque moments of exquisite buffets are used to a lesser effect. To understand what both mean requires a second and third helping — a viewing, that is.
The groups behind organizing Capital City Comic Con is confident folks far and wide will come to the Garden city of British Columbia to get their geek on. It takes place at the Victoria Convention Center and Crystal Garden on March 16-18th, 2018 and passes are on sale through Ticket Rocket.
Cherry Bomb Toys, The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and Tourism Victoria are not resting over the holidays. Announced Friday morning is Patrick Warburton. He’s done many cartoon voices like Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove and played The Tick (2001) and the narrator, Lemony Snicket in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. To hear him talk about his career will be fascinating. Most will remember him from Senfield but how many people will remember him in Quantum Leap?
Guests announced in previous month include Graham McTavish (Aquaman movie, Preacher) and James Marsters (Buffy). Both are great draws for those people who love their works. More names will be revealed in the coming months, and the plan is to make the star around this city brighter. It is known for Nerd Row where the corner of Broad and Johnson has a high concentration of shops to buy goodies from and the municipality of Oak Bay is recognized as where Gracepoint was filmed. On other parts of Vancouver Island, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla came to town and so did parts of the western beachscape became the battlefront for War for the Planet of the Apes.
Biago Woodward is one of the convention producers. He said he would love to get more people from Hollywood to take notice in everything this city, if not the entire island, can offer. It’s been used in many a cheery Hallmark movie like A Heavenly Christmas and independent production like Nick Simon’s masterful horror flick The Girl in the Photographs. Disney and Fox sent a crew to this island to make use of Hatley Castle to film Descendants (both movies) and X-Men 2. Deadpool knocked at the door of this historic building to find Professor Xavier. Only time will tell when the second movie comes out if he answered it or not.
“This city has its own tastes, its own feel … we’re going to do what’s best for the city to highlight the tourism and what the downtown core offers,” revealed Woodward.
Updated: Mon 11:30pm, Feb 6
Virtual Reality is poised to become a viable medium to work in for many an artist (cinema or otherwise) and at the 2017 Victoria Film Festival, I spent a part of my weekend at Fort Tectoria playing these types of games and attending the last discussion of Springboard talking about it. This medium is a challenge to work in; Derek Jacoby, Maureen Bradley and Kate McCallum are people with a tremendous interest in this tech and they presented a fascinating look into how to work with and filming in virtual space is at now. The challenges to make it mainstream was also looked at.
Jacoby is aware of what other companies are doing. He’s the head of Victoria Makerspace, a collective tool workshop at the Vancouver Island Technology Park, where they get to play, if not create items, that will get used in the future. Whether that’s with video games (which they all agree is the driving force now) or in rehabilitation (where VR can make a huge difference to those with disabilities and can not get out in the world), as long as interest is high, then it will happen. Unlike 3DTV’s and how it fizzled, Jacoby also noted there’s the potential of mainstream not accepting it. Bradley focussed on the challenges of filming in this space and showed how video editing (where my interest is) is done. Software stitches the varying layers of 2D images onto a 3D like map, and rendering is not a perfect science. McCallum talked about the work she’s doing now and which types of businesses are taking interest in this new medium.
Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
Sun Sept 4 – 3:15pm
Coming to Vancouver Fringe Festival beginning September 9, at Performance Works (1218 Cartwright Street)
Movie-buffs will love the send-up, mash-up, mix-up and show down of Ribbit RePublic’s take of the Academy Awards Best Picture(s) from the past century. All the winners, including Birdman gets acknowledged. Many films are lampooned into a tightly packed fun-filled hour which includes nerdy moments which had me broadly grinning. I’m glad that the list of films also included those that did not quite made the cut (had this been an awards show), and yes, the Star Wars enthusiast in me was loving it!
Sadly, Star Trek did not get a nod (this coming week marks their 30th anniversary) but was that ever considered Oscar-winning material? According to Tara Travis, Jon Paterson and Kurt Fitzpatrick, apparently not. That’s okay. They at least acknowledged Lord of the Rings — Jon and Kurt worked together to play the polar composite sides of Gollum aka Sméagol from Peter Jackson’s cinematic version, and Great Scott! they even acknowledged Back to the Future too! That was not on the list. I did not expect them to follow the script exactly, and as for whether there was even one, I could not tell!