Fantasia 2018

fantasia2018

The 22nd edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival will be held in Montreal from July 12th to August 2nd 2018. It specializes in animated and live-action genre cinema (fantasy, horror, action, science-fiction, etc.), but mostly horror and asian action movies. It will open with Daniel Roby’s “Dans la brume” (a Canada-France co-production). As usual, the festival will be offering “over 125 features and 220 shorts, featuring the premieres of more than 100 cutting-edge visions from across the world.”

The asian movies line-up (our main interest here) includes eight movies from China (six from Hong Kong), twenty-four from South-Korea, one from Vietnam and, of course, twenty-eight from Japan (including six anime). Here’s the list of Japanese movies:

Anime

Live-Action

It is interesting to note that a large majority of those movies are manga or novel adaptations. I am particularly interested in seeing The Travelling Cat Chronicles and Tremble All You Want — unfortunately I don’t have time to attend the festival… Check the festival website for more details (description, cast & crew info, schedule, location, etc).

Update: You can read a comment (in French) by Claude R. Blouin on some of those movies, “Sept fantaisies japonaises au festival Fantasia 2018” (Shomingeki)

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Découvertes de janvier

Que ce soit en déballant des boites de nouveautés à la bibliothèque, en bouquinant dans une librairie ou en parcourant les nombreux dédales de l’internet je fais souvent la découverte de nouveautés littéraires qui m’avaient jusqu’alors échappées. Et généralement, je m’empresse de les partager avec vous.

Dans ce cas-ci, j’ai découvert le premier titre grâce à une entrée sur la page facebook de l’auteure. Les deux autres, je les ai découvert en feuilletant le dernier numéro du magazine Animeland. Le dernier je l’ai découvert sur le site de l’éditeur

Découvrez-les après le saut de page >>
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Animeland

AnimeLand est le 1er magazine français sur l’animation japonaise et internationale, les mangas et tout l’univers otaku en France. C’est probablement le meilleurs magazine du genre à l’extérieur du Japon. Dans chaque numéro on nous offre des dossiers sur les anime, les mangas et les jeux vidéos qui se sont récemment démarqués. On y retrouve aussi des portraits et des interviews avec des artisans du milieu (seiyu, animateurs, etc.), ainsi que des actualités et commentaires sur les parutions récentes. Pour le contenu détaillé de chaque numéro, vous pouvez consulter le site du magazine: animeland.fr.

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Interviews

I recently stumbled on a couple of interviews I did in 2003-2004 when I was editor-in-chief for a magazine dedicated to Japanese popular culture (mostly anime and manga). It is strange to reminisce about this period of my life but I thought it would be amusing to share them with you here.

The first interview was done online with a couple of high-school students for a school assignment. It was done in French but I also translated it in English :

The second one was done with Fred Patten for an article in Comics Buyer’s Guide :

 

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The Controversial Art of Reviewing

Last September I wrote an essay on the “Subtile art of writing a review/commentary” (in French, but it is also available in a machine-translated English version). It is an essay I wanted to write for a long time, explaining how I was approaching the writing of a book or movie review — which I did for twenty years for a magazine. The funny thing is that I discovered a few weeks ago that I had already written that article in 2009 (in English) and forgot about it! I was checking out some old hard drives looking for something and stumble upon this article that I had written for a special issue (PAX #3) of the magazine I was working for, but we stop publication before it was released. It is based on the guidelines I wrote for our staff writers. My views on how to write a review have not change much since then. I thought it would be interesting to share it with the readers of this blog.

Reviewing a media product (wether it is a book, a manga, an anime series or a live-action movie) might seems an easy task, but in reality it is far from being simple. In fact, we are all doing it when we express an opinion to friends, but it is usually done in an emotional and very imprecise manner: “it was so bad, man” or “it was really cool.” In opposition, a professional reviewer—someone who does it for a living—must do his/her best to remain objective, precise and rigorous.

I admit that, if I always try to be an objective and precise reviewer, I am rarely rigorous. I am lazy and tend to keep my reviews short, introducing the subject and expressing my opinion in the most elementary manner. Today everybody is a critic as they can easily post what they think of this or that on their blog , but what makes the appraisal of a professional reviewer more interesting and valuable is experience. I’ve spent about two decades watching videos or films and reading books related to the subjects I review. I have therefore developped a methodology to assess the subject, an understanding of its workings and a set of criteria that—I hope—better equip me to examine and judge a particular media product.

In this article I have attempted to explain how I approach the writing of a review, what I think a review should be and what aspects of a medium I take in consideration when writing a review. I wanted to talked about this for a long time as I think it can offer interesting insights to both our readers and would-be reviewers.

First, there is two types of reviews: the basic or elementary review (the one I tend to favour) and the exhaustive review.

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Alita: Battle Angel trailer

James Cameron had been talking about this project for a long time and now it seems that it is finally a reality! Cameron is writing and producing; Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) is directing. The cast includes Rosa Salazar (Alita), Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, and Keean Johnson. It is scheduled for release on July 20, 2018. The teaser/trailer is available now on Youtube:

It is, of course, based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga Gunnm (銃夢 / Ganmu / lit. “gun dream”) which was translated in America as Battle Angel Alita. It was originally published in Japan by Shueisha in Business Jump magazine between 1990 and 1995, and was compiled in nine tankōbon (but republished later by Kodansha). The English version is published by Kodansha USA and the French version by Glénat. There was an animation adaptation in 1993.

Interesting facts: Cameron was first inspired by the manga when he created the TV series Dark Angel in 2000. Also, it seems that the main character will be entirely CGI animated and that Rosa Salazar is playing the role through motion-capture.

It looks quite interesting and visually faithful to the original. I can’t wait to see it and hope I won’t be disappointed.

Sources: AnimeLand, ICv2, IMdB, Wikipedia.

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Weekly notable news (w17-19)

Another few weeks have passed quickly without anything significant happening: More crazy weeks at works and rainy week-ends where I don’t feel I accomplished anything. I am tired and really need a longer vacation. Next week I’ll start a ten-day holiday where I’ll be able to rest (sleep late!), catch up on stuff (writing, work around the house), travel around (Ottawa’s Tulip’s festival, Quebec City, botanical garden, museums, the libraries book sale, bury my mother’s ashes, etc.) and, above all, completely forget about work for a while. Or so I thought!

In hope for greener pastures, I have applied for a new library job (more responsibilities, further from home, but a greater challenge for my skills and a much better salary). However, after a lengthy processus, they scheduled an interview right in the middle of my vacation and at nine o’clock on the morning of my BIRTHDAY! Not only they made me filled a psychological test online (it’s called “an inventory of personality” and it will probably reveal that I am a total psycho) but they didn’t even bother to reply when I asked if it was possible to reschedule, so I’ll do my best to be there and we’ll see. Que sera, sera.

The weather has really been lousy lately. May is supposed to be the nicest month of all (and not only because it’s my birthday). Overall, it has been cold and rainy. It even snowed a little last week. In may! Hopefully, it will not portend that the summer will be likewise, and it will soon improve (at least for my vacations, please!).

Something strange happened at the beginning of the month: out of the blue, one late afternoon, I started to smell a vague odour of gazoline in the basement. It didn’t come from the obvious source, the garage. Usually, such smell comes from the sewage (through a dried P-trap) or from a dead animal but, in this case, it seemed to come from the pit of the water-pipe entry. I called the city and was told not to worry, it was “probably” not toxic and might have come from some work on the pipes in the neighbourhood (I couldn’t locate any nearby). I cracked open a window and the next morning it was gone. I never knew what it was.

The unlucky streak didn’t stop there. Not only I broke a piece of tooth while eating a granola bar during my lunch break at work (and I am still waiting for the dentist to find some spare time for an appointment), but I also discovered that the damage to the rear balcony of the house is more extensive than I first thought. The supporting posts are not planted deep enough (they rest on concrete supports that are just on the surface while they should be in soil deep enough so it never freezes in winter — who are the morons who built this house?!) so the ground expansion due to the freezing is slowly ripping the balcony off the house. So much that it has now become worrisome. We will have to do the repairs sooner than expected and it will probably be quite costly! What an exciting boring life!

Again, I must remind myself not to let the outside world rattle my core. Carpe diem, my boy, carpe diem!

Finally, I managed to stay acquainted with some of the affairs of the world and gathered notable news & links of interest — which I share with you (in both french or english, and organized into a few basic categories), after the jump.

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