Sounding a little like a new Indiana Jones Adventure – Lost Secrets of the Royal opened at the home of Reel Asian, 401 Richmond, in the A Space Gallery. The exhibition was a rebirth for old salvaged film prints that Colin Geddes had rescued from what was to become the Royal Cinema.
These prints were identified and given as the pallet to artists to interpret. There were two projects in the gallery (the sister site is in Mississauga’s Blackwood Gallery is the home to more). The first encounter is through black curtains passed a glowing lightbox poster case for the piece, Officer Tuba Meets the Happy Ghost. A Character taken from the two films interact in new landscapes shot by artist soJin Chun in Toronto and Sao Paolo. Her love of grain and super eight adds a beauty & bleakness to Toronto which makes Brazil and other other footage pop like a frog flying at the screen. The other projection is a triple threat when your eyes won’t know where the action with fly from next.
Pumped for Jump Ashin! I returned to the Royal with an new extra curiosity of what else was hiding in the bowels of the building. The gymnast gone bad redemption story was the action element I was hoping to find at the festival after last years kick off with Gallants. I wasn’t disappointed as JA provided lots of action, drama & comedy. This was the busiest screening I’ve attended thus far with the Taiwan support raising the roof for the director.
Based on the true story of the director’s brother Ashin starts his childhood gate crashing a traditional stage show with some added cartwheels and bouncing where it didn’t belong. Finding more mischief he spies on a gymnastics class after finding an escape in to fantasy while bouncing on a trampoline. It isn’t long before he’s enrolled in the class. Jumping forward in time his skills are growing yet his landings leave a lot to be desired. His doubting Mother finally reveals to his coach that his legs are not equal and insists he leave the spring boarding behind to help the family fruiterer business. Taking this badly he rebels using his natural bounding to fight with gangs in his town. With his best buddy Pickle they both find themselves in a dire situation when things get out of control. Forced to run away they escape to the city to flee their crimes. Set before 1994 there’s a sweet story revolving around a pager messaging service operator who is the human message delivery service before SMS. Their lovely interactions anchor some light hearted moments as it comes time for Ashin to return to face his past. Previously seen in Lover’s Discourse, Eddie Peng is the pin up hubba hubba anti-hero Ashin who bulked up between roles. His heartthrob status was cemented when the girls in front of me at the screening took photos at various points in the movie. An energetic question and answer session followed that had everyone one their feet and shouting jump!
Piercing 1 was the next interesting later night film that I was open to but unsure about. Beavis and Butthead had been the token comparison animation style linked to the movie. Short enough to give the benefit of the doubt too I’m I stayed in the squeaky seats at the theatre. Much like my folkes not being able to see past The Simpsons being a cartoon, it did take at least 20 minutes to adjust to the simple line drawings. Zhang is a little out of luck like the rest of the world in recession. Beaten a few too many times and not believed for honest actions lead him and his friend in to funny plot between shady goings on with the corrupt police and fat headed business owner. The injustice experienced by the main character is really felt. The situations he finds himself in become so comical with an edge of grit.
Sunday is an early and exciting start with the So You Think You Can Pitch Contest. The previous years have produced some great content with examples at this year’s festival being The Sugar Bowl and Searching for Wonder which I need to search out and see! Here’s a special message from the star of another finished pitch project that screened at last year’s festival – A Dragged Out Affair‘s Donnarama! Click the image to view the video greeting.