Friday, April 02, 2004

Tripping in Taiwan this weekend – Spring Scream and much, much more...

While some will be protesting and counter protesting over lost cases, the exciting and cheerful ones will be partying big time!!!
Have a look of what Taiwan has to offer you this weekend:

Choice # 1
The Spring Scream weekend in Kenting (Taiwan) begins today

Though it gave its name to the weekend, the Spring Scream arts-music festival is by now almost incidental to the events it has spawned in Kenting, where parties on the beach and other dance-music events draw tens of thousands of young people for three days of fun that scandalize the nation.
The rave parties began four years ago with the first Moonlight party on Dawan beach and grew exponentially in scale the next year, when local and national promoters tried to capitalize on a cash business in a good location. It was perfect weather, there were many good parties, arrests, a drowning and livid coverage in the media. Breathless reporting about drugs, women in skimpy bathing suits, foreigners, gangsters and raids guaranteed coverage on the news at six, in popular dailies and the weekly Next Magazine.
DJ Victor, one of Taiwan's most respected DJs, said there was a problem with the perception of the Spring Scream weekend's associated events, which he said had become an important festival for young Taiwanese.
In a first for the town, there will be a "Kenting Freedom Parade" that intends to"break the wall of people's misunderstanding toward electronic dance music," according to DJ @llen. Chozie, Victor, Dark, Saucey and JJ will perform on a huge truck called the "Lovemobile." It's a free party down Kenting Road on Friday and Saturday afternoons until midnight.
Another good bet will be "Free for Fun," held on Baishan beach, 15 minutes from Kenting, on Friday and Saturday, from 2pm to 10pm, with DJs @llen, Dark, Victor and DJ. The organizer DJ Dark said it would be a free event (with voluntary donation to clean up beach), "because this is a vacation for me, to spend money."
"Love Shuttle" -- which features a converted 18-wheeler truck that unfolds, with the depression of one button, into a full size stage -- has managed to take the prime spot on Dawan beach in Kenting, from 3pm to 12pm. It starts Friday with DJ Noodle and Bigz, plus open mic MC battles, followed by Taipei-based DJs K Fancy, Em and Trouble. Also appearing will be the VoodooTech Crew, Cliff Vermette (the future sound of 2nd Floor), Freak Dudes, Spunite Production Crew, Connect Crew, DJ Reason, DJ Xiao Hei and live vocals from Angie and Marco.
Taichung DJs JJ and Tom, along with A100, Papillon, @llen and Saucey will be at B3, on the main street (#233-1), 10pm to 6am, NT$500 plus drink.
"Moonlight" will be back on the grounds opposite Dawan beach for the late night parties on Friday and Saturday, with most of the 2nd Floor and Luxy DJs, along with a few locals. Starting at 5pm and ending at 5am both nights. Expect to hear DJ Chono, Zero, @kira, @llen, Choyce Kutz & Dr. Who, among others.
There will also be "private parties" that are not going to be advertised, some in clubs, restaurants, bars and hotels, others at local beaches. Keep your eyes and ears open.
The Vinyl Word: Go with the flow.
For more details about the program clique here

Choice # 2

The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan, by Phil Grabsky, is a touching movie following the life of a little boy in Afghanistan.
For those who enjoy seeing films not just for entertainment but also for a deeper picture of the world, Green International Film Festival (GIFT, 宜蘭國際綠色影展) offers some movie treats.
The festival starts in Ilan this weekend, through to April 9. It features 30 local and international films about environmental protection, ecology and rethinking of globalization. The solid program and free admission to the festival makes the trip to Ilan worthwhile.
For more details about the program clique here

Choice # 3
Same-sex comedy gives Taiwanese movies a lift: “Formula 17”

Directed by: Chen Yin-jung (陳映蓉)
Starring: Tony Yang (楊佑寧), Duncan, King Chin (金勤), Dada Liu (季宏全), Jimmy Yang (楊俊明), Jason, Chang (張大鏞)
Running time: 90 minutes
Taiwan Release: today
Language: Mandarin with Chinese subtitles

The Morning after: Tien (left, Tony Yang) is attracted to playboy Pai (Duncan) in the Taiwanese movie Formula 17

If Taiwan's abundant TV soap operas have finally achieved something it is that they have helped create pretty-faced pop idols for the movie Formula 17 (十七歲的天空). And some of them have the potential to become movie stars.

Formula 17 can be seen as one of those rare finds, not only because it is a gay romantic comedy, but it is also one of the few Taiwanese movies that discards the "tradition" of social realism. It is a commercial drama, sugar-coated with good-looking actors, bright colors, designer fashions and furniture. The movie does not intend to delve into deeper meaning about society or human feelings, as many other Taiwanese filmmakers try to do. As pure entertainment, it is indeed a different breed of Taiwanese movie.

Tien (Tony Yang, 楊佑寧) is a naive 17 year-old boy from southern Taiwan and goes to Taipei in search of his dream lover. He stays with his high school friend Yu (King Chin, 金勤), a popular DJ at a gay bar.
Under the instruction of Yu and his campy friends, Tien learns to dress up and tries a few blind dates. He meets Pai (Duncan), the most chased (gay) bachelor in town and immediately falls for him. But Tien's "sisters" all advise him to stay away from this dangerous attraction, for Pai is a well-known playboy who, unlike the naive Tien, does not believe in love.

Formula 17 is surely trying to create a gay utopian vision of Taipei where there are no women, no heterosexual men, only pretty-looking or muscular gay men in bars, fashion stores or men's gyms. The underlying theme is love and believing in love.

In contrast to many Western gay movies such as The Birdcage or The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, there are no mentions of drag queens or transvestite phenomena, though there are some characters who have exaggerated camp qualities.

The scriptwriter of the movie tries hard, sometimes too hard, to be funny. There are plenty of jokes, but the film director isn't quite able to pull them off. In some of the scenes, the actors look as if they are reading the lines instead of acting.

Fortunately, the good casting and good performances have saved the movie. Tony Yang, Duncan and three actors playing the gay roles have done decent jobs, especially Yang, who shows a different side to his TV drama work. After Formula 17, he could be taking up roles in bigger movies.

Review by By Yu Sen-lun, Taipei Times, 02 April 2003

Choice # 4
The second International Theatre Festival
with its theme of the spoken word continues this weekend, when local troupe Tainan Jen Theatre treats audiences to its colorful Taiwanese-language adaptation of Samuel Beckett's Endgame at the CKS Cultural Center's Experimental Theatre (Taipei).

Tainan Jen Theatre will perform a Taiwanese-language adaptation of Samuel Beckett's play, Endgame, as part of the International Theatre Festival at the Experimental Theatre this weekend.
For more details about the program clique here.

Choice # 5
Protesting at Chiang Kaishek Memorial…

The pan-blue alliance yesterday said that it will hold another rally at CKS Memorial Hall tomorrow. The rally could attract as many as 50,000 people, the event's organizers said.
The rally is intended to "show the people's will," since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) disagreed with the pan-blues request to establish special laws regarding the assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian.

Ok, there is plenty to choose from, I already made it up my mind... so see you next week after recovery.
Have a great weekend!

Child exploitation or education?

On my way to work around 7:00 am, the streets of Tainan City are almost empty. The only visible traffic is the kids riding their bicycles and parents driving their scooters, all converging to a specific location – a nearby school.
When you pass by one of these schools, at these early hours of the day and while the city is still half asleep, you can see Taiwanese kids busy cleaning their school yards.
In all Taiwan schools, the kids clean their school before attending classes.
It is amazing how these young kids seem so concentrated and committed to what they are doing and with no apparent supervision.
Here, discipline is learned at a young age and kids get to understand that hard work is necessary to achieve goals.
In some countries this would be considered child labor exploitation, in Taiwan it’s called "labor education" and is said to build character.
Perhaps western countries should adopt this education technique. I have this feeling that it would do wonders to correct spoiled kids’ behaviors!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Humor Iberico

hehehehe.... esta foi tirada do blogo social portugues.
uma mudanca para melhor e' sempre bem vinda... mas sera que nao haja um candidato melhor que um Ferro?
Tenho a impressao que esse senhor nao tem perfil adequado ao lugar que ocupa e que Portugal precisava de alguem com perfil de um Zapatero...

Update da Formosa

Esperando que os votos se contem novamente.....zzz....zzz....zzz

Waiting for the votes to be recounted.....zzz....zzz....zzz

Paixao Cigana....

Joaquín Cortés, no seu melhor!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Dia 26/03/04, foi sexta feira de paixao em Taiwan.

A tal polemica obra cinematografica, foi finalmente legendada em chines e lancada no mundo sino.
A opiniao do Boss e sobretudo o facto do papa ter gostado e 'aprovado', eram indicios fortes para eu achar que deveria haver algo de desagradavel neste filme.
Apesar dos pressagios, tinha duvidas e curiosidade e achei que deveria ir ver para poder formular a minha opiniao.
Um filme e' uma obra de arte, e como tal e' uma forma de expressao do artista marcada pelo que vai na sua alma.
Durante o filme ate me esqueci que o filme abordava a "paixao de cristo", pois deu-me a impressao que o papel principal era a tortura sadica, gratuita e desnecessaria....
No fim, fiquei com a impressao que o artista tem algo de sadico e doentio.
E' caso para dizer, Meu Deus, perdoa o Mel que ele nao sabe o que faz!

E como tento sempre procurar um lado positivo: gostei da representacao de Maia Morgenstern, da beleza da Monica Belluccida e da cor dos olhos do James Caviezel!

Tripping in Tibet - Part II

Smiles from Tibet

E depois do adeus...

A policia de choque de Taipei conseguiu "limpar" a avenida em frente ao palacio presidencial, com estrategias de contra-ataque pacificas a que eu chamaria "avancando lentamente em massa":

E agora? agora o povo delegou os seus requesitos aos politicos.
Representantes do presidente Chen Shui-bian e do lider da oposicao (KMT) Lien Chan) reuniram-se ontem para acordar accoes a tomar.
Ambas as partes concordaram em:
- Proceder a uma investigacao independente, do atentado ao presidente.
- Recontagem dos votos.
Ainda nao se conhece quando estes acordos serao postos em pratica.

Para tras fica a nostalgia da euforia vivida restando o silencio e o vazio da espera:

Monday, March 29, 2004

A Primavera de P... P... Pequim

A primavera tambem ja chegou 'a China.

Afinal enganei-me...

... sim e' possivel fazer a reportagem das manifestacoes em Taipei, sem fotografar a bandeira de Taiwan...
O jornal Chines Peoples Daily conseguiu a proeza:

e o jornal tambem Chines China Daily nao se portou mal, apesar de... bem enfim... e' so uma manchita vermelha, que ate' convem... deu para publicar!

desculpem la' o cepticismo do post anterior... afinal nao sou jornalista e isto de enformar tem muito que se lhe diga!

Same reality, different interpretation.

In Hong Kong, today's South China Morning Post reads:
Democratic reform for 2007 'still possible'
Beijing is likely to rule that changes are possible to the chief executive election in 2007 when the National People's Congress Standing Committee meets this week to interpret key electoral provisions of the Basic Law.

In Taiwan, Taipei Times reads:
Beijing `crushes' HK's democracy
Beijing's plan to dictate policy on political reform in Hong Kong will stifle the push for democracy and undermine the territory's rule of law, critics charged.

And in Beijing, the China Daily reads:
Interpretation of Basic Law in HK's interest
Stephen Lam, Hong Kong's secretary for Constitutional Affairs, said on Saturday that China's top legislature's interpretation of the Basic Law will not harm either the implementation of "one country, two systems" or a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong.

It's all about politics and its all about how 'they' want you to see the world.
Be aware that the media can be the big brother's tools.
An independent thinker.

Crise Politica em Taiwan....

Uma semana apos as eleicoes presidenciais, o povo de Taiwan continua a exigir a recontagem dos votos e a investigacao do atentado sofrido pelo presidente Chen Shui-bian e vice presidente Annette Lu. A especulacao e' imensa e ha quem chegue a dizer que o atentado foi uma encenacao para conseguir votos de simpatia.

Sabado, 27/03/04, os protextos contra os acontecimentos do fim de semana passado culminaram com uma manifestacao de mais de 500 mil pessoas em frente ao palacio presidencial em Taipei.
(Aqui entre nos, parece que os media na China foram avisados para nao publicarem imagens dos acontecimentos em Taiwan, onde a bandeira de Taiwan fosse visivel - missao quase impossivel)

Domingo, 27/03/04 de manha, o presidente Chen Shui-bian finalmente decide falar para os media e anuncia que aceita o dialogo com o representante da oposicao bem como a recontagem dos votos, mas que a sua paciencia tem limites...

...e por isso ordenou 'a multidao que abandonassem a zona em frente ao palacio, caso contrario iriam ser sujeitas a acao de forcas de intervencao (policia de choque).

E assim foi, os que nao sairam voluntariamente, foram arrastados do recinto. Tirando alguns episodios de histerismos e violencia pessoal e atendendo ao numero de pessoas que ai se encontravam, a evacuacao do recinto deu-se em ambiente considerado calmo.
Os manifestantes nao desistem da sua causa, afastam-se do palacio presidencial mas reagrupam-se e re-instalam-se junto ao monumento de Chiang Kaishek Memorial:

Hoje, segunda feira, 29/03/04, Taiwan aguarda com espectativa, os resultados do encontro entre o presidente Chen Shui-bian e o lider da oposicao (KMT) Lien Chan.

Para mais informacao sobre o assunto "Eleicoes em Taiwan" ver esta edicao da time magazine.

Para mais informacao sobre Taiwan clique aqui.