Fleming, Ann Marie 1962-
Fleming, Ann Marie 1962-
Born 1962, in Okinawa, Japan.
Home—Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Writer and filmmaker. Global Mechanic production company, cofounder and former director; Sleepy Dog Films production company, founder. Director of independent films and animated shorts, including Waving, 1987; You Take Care Now, 1989; Five Feminist Minutes, 1990; So Far So …, 1992; It's Me Again, 1993; Buckingham Palace, 1993; My Boyfriend Gave Me Peaches, 1994; I Love My Work, 1994; Pleasure Film (Ahmed's Story), 1995; and Great Expectations (Not What You're Thinking), 1995.
Fipresci Prize, Special Distinction, Montreal World Film Festival, and Best Canadian Short Film, Toronto International Film Festival, both 2002, and both for Blue Skies; Grand Jury Prize, San Diego Asian Film Festival, and Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival award, both 2004, and both for The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam.
The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, Riverhead Books (New York, NY), 2007.
(And director, producer) New Shoes (independent film), 1990.
(And director, producer) Tiresias (independent film; animated short), 1998.
(And director, producer) Lip Service: A Mystery (independent film), 2001.
(And director, producer) Blue Skies (animated independent film), 2002.
(And director, producer) The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, Canadian Film Board, 2003.
(And director, producer) The French Guy (feature film), AMF Productions/Sleepy Dogs Film, 2005.
(And director) M.O.O.D. (animated independent short film), 2006.
The film The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam was adapted into a graphic-novel memoir of the same title.
Canadian filmmaker and writer Ann Marie Fleming has directed a score of independent films that include animated shorts as well as feature-length dramas and documentaries. Among other films are her award-winning animated short from 2002, Blue Skies, the award-winning 2003 documentary, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, and the feature horror/comedy, The French Guy, from 2005.
In The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam Fleming, who is of Chinese and Australian ancestry, traces the life of her great-grandfather, a magician and acrobat who was internationally renowned. Finding movie footage that the magician had shot in the 1930s, Fleming was inspired to pursue a biographical look at this ancestor. A vaudeville performer who appeared on the same stage as the Marx Brothers and George Burns, Long Tack Sam is barely remembered now because, unlike his compatriots, he did not make a career in Hollywood but instead continued touring around the world until well after World War II. Writing in CM Magazine, Elizabeth Larssen noted, "This gem of a film is highly entertaining." Larssen further commented that Fleming's film "covers major world events of the early to mid-twentieth century from a truly unique perspective."
The French Guy is "an eerie example of the subconscious at work," as Barbara Diggs noted on NewEnglandFilm.com. The eeriness comes from the fact that Fleming wrote the screenplay believing it was a total piece of fiction, only to realize later that the film was inspired by an incident in her not-too-distant past: unknowingly overhearing a homicide in a hotel room next to hers. The French Guy features Elizabeth Murray, who has just undergone brain surgery with rather surprising results for her lover and for the next-door neighbor, who is an aural witness to events. Diggs termed the movie "a funny yet creepy burlesque of Psycho complete with frenzied stabbing scenes and screeching violins."
In 2007 Fleming turned from directing and screenwriting to book writing, publishing the graphic novel adaptation of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam. Here the author goes into somewhat more biographical as well as autobiographical detail (focusing more on her own efforts to uncover the story), tracing Long Tack Sam's life from his nineteenth-century beginnings in rural China, to his days in vaudeville in the United States, and on to his international tours.
Reviewing the work in BookLoons, Lance Victor Eaton noted that the work contains "many drawings, but integrated throughout are … photographs, mini-comics on Long Tack Sam's beginnings, timelines, and a variety of other interesting elements." Eaton further termed the book "a beautiful blend of drawings, pictures, and paintings that will stick with the reader for some time." For Becky Ohlsen, writing on Book Page, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam was an "amazingly textured, multilayered book," with original and "charmingly simplistic" stick-figure artwork by Fleming. Booklist contributor Francisca Goldsmith dubbed the same work "very appealing for biography readers, twentieth-century world-history buffs, and comics enthusiasts alike."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2007, Francisca Goldsmith, review of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, p. 57.
CM Magazine, March 17, 2006, Elizabeth Larssen, review of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam (feature film).
San Francisco Chronicle, December 30, 2007, Reyhan Harmanci, review of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam.
Take One, December, 2001, Leslie Bishko, "The Peripatetic Metaphors of Lip Service: An Interview with Ann Marie Fleming," p. 24.
Washington Post Book World, October 11, 2007, Nora Krug, review of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam.
Art of Seduction,http://www.theartofseduction.sympatico.msn.ca/ (February 23, 2008), "Ann Marie Fleming."
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (February 23, 2008), Lance Victor Eaton, review of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam.
Book Page,http://www.bookpage.com/ (February 23, 2008), Becky Ohlsen, review of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam.
Canadian Broadcasting Centre (CBC) Web site,http://www.cbc.ca/ (December 16, 2007), "Ann Marie Fleming Interview."
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (February 23, 2008), "Ann Marie Fleming."
NewEnglandFilm.com,http://www.newenglandfilm.com/ (February 23, 2008), Barbara Diggs, "The French Guy Next Door."
Sleepy Dog Films Web site,http://www.sleepydogfilms.com/ (February 23, 2008), "Ann Marie Fleming."
Wordstock Festival,http://www.wordstockfestival.com/ (February 23, 2008), "Ann Marie Fleming."