April 2009


a few weeks ago peter and i went to the second run theater here to see milk. we both really liked the film of course. i had some concern as when we sat down there was a man sitting behind us talking loudly on his cell phone. luckily, once the lights went dark he stopped talking. it helped that the volume was a bit on the high side, but i didn’t hear anyone talking during the film and i don’t think that was just the volume.

the theater we went to is kind of famous since it’s the theater ang lee grew up going to. it’s one of the few theaters in taiwan still doing hand painted signs/illustrations for movies playing. an odd thing about going to this theater is it has rekindled my love of going to the movies. not just the seeing of the movies, but the joy of sitting in a theater and watching a film. i think this largely has to do with the fact that the theater is old and as a result has a character often lacking from newer theaters. the newer theaters may have better sound and newer seats but also are usually on the sterile side. they aren’t a place i want to hang out in, but older theaters have some sort of charm. maybe i’m bored with the desire for perfection and just prefer to see the cracks showing. slightly off sound, scratched film, they all have a certain something that appeals to me in the way the latest state of the art theater doesn’t.

now if the theater started showing wacky midnight movies i’d be more than overjoyed, but that sort of tradition sadly doesn’t really exist in taiwan.

a nice blast from the past. renaldo and the loaf doing songs for swinging larvae:

interestingly, the video and music still seem cutting edge even some 20 years on. i guess that can also be read as showing how lame much of the music/video created today is.

as an added bonus here’s a documentary/interview on/with the band:

i love how he talks about using real words to create a sort of new language.

today peter and i went out to the big luermen temple here. i’d been out by it earlier in the week and it looked like there were some events that might be going on. well, there were.what they were about i’m unsure. but i shot some very bad cell phone video of a bit of it:

you can see more here and here.

i’m not sure if this story is getting much coverage by the taiwanese media, but considering the state of the media in taiwan i’m not surprised if it isn’t. that link is in chinese, but the important thing is the video.

apparently, a junior high school boy(who may be slightly retarded) had gone to look for someone in another classroom. at some point i guess he shoved a girl. the girl got upset and got a group of boys to beat the kid up. she filmed it all(i guess she was quite happy with the result since she supposedly posted it to the internet originally). after several kids had beaten on him they made him apologize. that would make this story bad enough, but there’s more.

i’m told the principal then tried to cover it up. in taiwan parents pay tuition for their kids to go to school and there is heavy competition between schools to attract pupils/money(usually with claims about how high their students score on entrance examinations for better high schools or universities) so any bad press about the school would hurt it in number of students or financially.

the parents tried to pay off the boy or his family(with a measly 20,000 nt(about 600 usd)). i’m not sure if they accepted the money or not. but the parents were still afraid of a scandal so they tried to find a politician to cover up the story. i have no idea what came of that attempt. i sincerely hope it doesn’t work and that they are punished severely.

a really nice collection of vintage jello illustrations over at see saw. it’s the first time i’ve seen the blog, but it’s full of fantastic illustrations. i definately need to find more time to explore all that is there. via quiddity and found in mom’s basement.

a short but rather nice uk documentary(for lack of a better word) on siouxsie sioux:

it definately makes me want more. part two can be found here.

they’ve finally started showing season 5 of project runway here in taiwan. i have no idea why it’s taken them so long to finally start showing it. it seems like every year it takes it longer to get here. it’s a good excuse to post this send up of the show:

i had no idea that madtv was still around.