Art and Entertainment

Japanese idol group Arashi hints at possibility of Taiwan concert

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/11/11
By: Chen Ping-hung and Chiang Yi-ching

From left to right are Kazunari Ninomiya, Masaki Aiba, Jun Matsumoto, Satoshi Ohno and Sho Sakurai.

Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) Japanese boy band Arashi made a quick stop in Taipei on Monday as part of its promotional tour "Jet Storm" and hinted at the possibility of a concert in Taiwan next year.

It was the first time since 2008 that Arashi — comprised of members Masaki Aiba, Satoshi Ohno, Jun Matsumoto, Sho Sakurai and Kazunari Ninomiya — had visited Taiwan as a group.

At a press conference Monday, the group briefed fans on their upcoming plans, including scheduled performances at New National Stadium in Tokyo on May 15-16, 2020, and a concert in Beijing next spring.

Sakurai said the group is also considering the possibility of a concert in Taiwan before it disbands at the end of 2020.    [FULL  STORY]

French filmmaker Tolt releases ‘Don’t go to Taiwan’

French filmmaker Tolt proves why travelers should go to Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/10/30
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Screenshot from YouTube video)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — French film director Benjamin Martinie, who goes by the handle "Tolt," has created a travel video introducing Taiwan with the contrarian title "Don't go to Taiwan" to prove why travelers should, in fact, visit the country.

The film is Martinie's ninth episode of a series of travel films intentionally given the admonishment "Don't go to… " Martinie, who specializes in travel films, says he deliberately chooses negative titles to use reverse psychology "to oppose negative misconceptions of the footage."

Martinie said that when he was approached by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau to produce a film about Taiwan, he was excited because he knew nothing about the country and was sure that the "'Made in Taiwan' vision we have in Western countries could only be false." After completing the project, Martinie said, "I was not disappointed! Honestly, it was a great trip."

The director lamented that he only had a week and said he wished he had been able to extend his stay. Martinie said he especially remembered "the warmth of Taiwanese people, its very surprisingly lush nature, and its amazing gastronomy."    [FULL  STORY]

‘Weathering With You’ Is a Boring, Repetitive Cinematic Delight

Makoto Shinkai's 'Weathering With You' is a cinematic delight that also disappoints.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/10/08
By: Daphne K. Lee

Photo Credit: Weathering With You (Tenki no Ko)

Two years after releasing Your Name (2016), one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time, director Makoto Shinkai returns to cinema by recycling the same formula for box office success, but with less magic.

Shinkai’s new film, Weathering With You (Tenki no Ko), again tells the story of a teenage girl with mystical powers, this time grounded in a more familiar backdrop: a flooding Tokyo.

In the rainy Tokyo, a runaway teenage boy Hodaka (voiced by Kotaro Daigo) is offered a job at an obscure magazine run by Suga (Shun Oguri) after struggling to survive between meals. Through Hodaka's initial struggle, Shinkai portrays Tokyo as a harsh metropolis for the underprivileged and accentuates the city’s apathy with the never-ending bad weather.

Hodaka's first assignment is to look for the mythical “Sunshine Girl” around Tokyo and eventually finds a teenage girl, Hina (Nana Mori), who had kindly offered him a burger when he was homeless and hungry. With the “superpower” of being able to pray for temporary good weather, Hina soon explodes in popularity with Hodaka’s help.    [FULL  STORY]

‘Spiders’ spins web for Entertaining Power

Screen Daily
Date: 6 October 2019
By: Liz Shackletone


Hong Kong-based Entertaining Power is launching sales in the Asian Film Market on Taiwan-Hong Kong co-production Spiders, directed by Joe Chien.

Currently in production, the action adventure has a strong ensemble cast of Taiwanese and Hong Kong actors, including Sunny Wang (Gatao), Rexen Cheng (Devil Fish: The Tag Along Sequel), Lee Kang Sheng (Stray Dogs) and Wiyona Yeung (We Are Legends).

The story revolves around a group of sailors on a perilous mission who start to suspect they’re being stalked by a sea monster. Andrew Lin will also star and handle visual effects. An actor with credits including The Loser Hero and Triple Tap, Lin was previously special effects supervisor on Hong Kong action horror Zombie Fight Club (2014).    [FULL  STORY]

Crime drama The World Between Us bags six top prizes at Taiwan’s Golden Bell Awards

The Straits Times
Date: Oct 6, 2019
By: Loh Keng Fatt

Television still from The World Between Us starring Alyssa Chia. She won best actress in a drama series at Taiwan’s Golden Bell Awards held in Taipei on Oct 5, 2019.PHOTO: HBO ASIA

TV viewers in Singapore have seen what Taiwanese actress Pets Tseng can bring to a drama series in her portrayal of a journalist in Mediacorp drama All Is Well.

On Saturday (Oct 5), further proof of her acting skills elsewhere came when she walked away with the prize for best supporting actress in a drama series at the Golden Bell Awards.

Her role in The World Between Us was not the only reward for the crime series, with the HBO Asia show also picking up five other major trophies.

At the ceremony – touted as Taiwan's equivalent of the American Emmys – held in Taipei, the drama's lead actress Alyssa Chia took best actress in a drama series.    [FULL  STORY]

‘Romantic Comedy’ Makes a Case for Higher Quality Rom-Coms

The 2019 Women Make Waves Film Festival takes place from 10/4 to 10/14 at SPOT Huashan Cinema in Taipei. This review is based on a complimentary media screener.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/10/03
By: CJ Sheu

Photo Credit: Romantic Comedy / Women Make Waves Film Festival Taiwan

If you go back and rewatch your favorite romantic comedies, chances are they’ll be pretty bad (except for When Harry Met Sally which premiered in 1989). The male gaze is obnoxiously obvious, women are created according to male desires in lieu of having actual personalities, and toxic masculinity is depicted as not just a but the successful romantic strategy. And yet there’s something undeniably endearing about watching two attractive people seek love in the thorny thickets of offensive writing and prurient camera direction.

Romantic Comedy (2019), by writer-director-editor-narrator Elizabeth Sankey, is a 78-minute found footage documentary that crafts this fundamental tension of the genre into an argument for a better rom-com. It’s a labor of love: The film begins by recounting Sankey’s formative obsession with the genre as a young girl, and at one point she admits to having seen Sleepless in Seattle (1993) 35 times. She was motivated to make the film when she began to see the genre’s glaring imperfections after she got married, a life stage where rom-coms don’t often offer a playbook.

The film starts with rom-coms from the pre-code era, when the lower cultural cachet of the cinema afforded women and minorities more opportunities. It then traverses the heightened gender normativity of the war years, highlighting the subversively sexual but all too brief presence of Marilyn Monroe before settling into an analysis of rom-com tropes from the ‘80s onward.

Joining Sankey are a chorus of her friends and fellows from the film industry, who offer observations and criticisms of their own favorite films (1995’s While You Were Sleeping gets an eye-opening deconstruction), often based on their identities as not cishet, White, and/or men.

Taiwanese singer Eric Chou returns to S’pore in Dec 2019 at Indoor Stadium

The last time he performed in Singapore was in Jun. 2018.

Date: September 28, 2019
By: Julia Yeo 

Taiwanese singer-songwriter Eric Chou will be returning to Singapore for another concert on Dec. 14, 2019.

Concert held at Singapore Indoor Stadium

The Singapore leg of his How Have You Been 2019 Asia Tour will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, on Dec. 14. 2019.

The last time Chou performed in Singapore was in Jun. 2018, during his 22Plus2018 Asia tour.

The tour features Chou performing his bestselling hits, such as “How have you been”, “The chaos after you”, and “Let’s not be friends in the future”.

The 23-year-old singer is famous for his ballads, and has been dubbed as the “king of the lovelorn people” by Taiwanese media.    [FULL  STORY]

Hong Kong-Based Curator and Editor Robin Peckham Has Been Named Co-Director of the Upstart Taipei Dangdai Art Fair

Peckham will work alongside fair founder Magnus Renfrew to oversee the second edition.

artnet News
Date:, September 24, 2019

Opening day at the inaugural Taipei Dangdai art fair. Photo courtesy of Taipei Dangdai.

The Taipei Dangdai art fair is expanding its leadership team.

Organizers behind the event, which was launched in January, have appointed Robin Peckham as its co-director, artnet has learned. Peckham will work alongside Magnus Renfrew, who co-founded the fair in early 2018.

Peckham, an up-and-comer in Asian art circles, has worn many professional hats, working as a writer, editor, curator, and gallerist in Beijing and Hong Kong, where he’s currently based.

After graduating from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, he served as director of Boers-Li Gallery in Beijing. In 2011, he founded Saamlung gallery in Hong Kong, which remained open for two years. In 2014, Peckham co-curated the “Art Post-Internet” exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing with Karen Archey. That same year, he signed on as editor-in-chief of LEAP, a Chinese–English journal on art, a position he held until 2018.    [FULL  STORY]

‘Detention’ box office 3rd highest among domestic films since 2011

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/09/23
By: Chen Pin-hung and Elizabeth Hsu

Photo courtesy of 1 Production Film Co.

Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) The locally produced psychological horror film "Detention," adapted from a horror video game of the same name, has grossed NT$67.7 million (US$2.18 million) at the box office since it hit theaters across Taiwan on Friday, the film company said Monday.

It was the third highest take at the box office gross of any domestic film in the first three days of screening at cinemas since 2011.

The only two films with higher grosses in their first three days were the two parts of epic film "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale" directed by Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖), both screened in 2011 — "The Sun Flag" (NT$88 million) and "The Rainbow Bridge" (NT$85 million).

The box office of "Detention" was also the highest for any domestic film in Taiwan so far this year, said 1 Production Film Co., which produced the film based on a popular survival horror adventure video game developed by Taiwan-based Red Candle Games for the video game digital distribution platform Steam.    [FULL  STORY]

Critics say Jay Chou’s new video is sexist

Straits Times
Date: Sep 19, 2019

TAIPEI • Jay Chou's new single Won't Cry may have sold well, but the Taiwan Mandopop superstar has also drawn flak over what is portrayed in the song's video.

The YouTube video, which has been seen more than 11 million times, features a woman who sacrifices a lot to help her boyfriend fulfil his dream to be a photographer.

In the video, the female character, played by Japanese actress Ayaka Miyoshi, is seen toiling at a milk tea shop.

That devotion has been slammed by some netizens as being out-of-date and an affront to women.