Popular cultural interactions between the two sides of the Taiwan strait seem to have become trendy these days. Taiwan's pride and joy, Patty Hou (侯佩岑), and veteran singer/TV hostess, Lan Xin-mei (藍心湄), were exported to China to host big evening parties for the Mid-Autumn Festival last Sunday. Both hostesses tightened up their acts up to suit China's more conservative audience.
Meanwhile, musically conservative pop songs imported from China, such as Mouse Loves Grains (老鼠愛大米), have curiously become big hits in Taiwan. Aiming at the unexplored market for China's pop music, a local record company has remixed the top 10 online songs in China and grouped them for an album called The Songs We Love (我們愛的歌). Professionals in the industry have hailed the move as a new pattern for cross?strait musical exchanges, but local pop music lovers should worry that the influx of outdated melodies and lyrics will set the local music industry back 50 years.
Local horror flick The Heirloom (宅變) scored NT$880,000 in ticket sales for its opening day, breaking the box office record of Tsai Ming-liang's (蔡明亮) The Wayward Cloud (天邊一朵雲). Director Leste Chen (陳正道) was thrilled at his achievement, especially since he didn't have to get his actresses to take off their clothes to sell the movie.
During a promotion event for his latest work The Myth (神話) in Malaysia last week, Jackie Chan (成龍) dropped a bombshell when he announced that he would put an end to his glorious days as a kung-fu actor in five years, and would like to further his film career as a producer and director. It's a smart move for the 51-year-old action star, since he will find it increasingly difficult to keep up with the acrobatics now he's nearing 60.
Chen has also expressed interest in making documentaries on environmental issues after his retreat from action movies. So fans, prepare yourselves to see Chan happily surrounded by big cuddly animals on the wild side in the near future.
Chan's announcement of a career shift came two months after Jet Li (李連杰) released news of his own retirement from the martial-arts scene. Apparently, our invincible action heroes can beat up everything but time.
Hong Kong beauty Rosamund Kwan (關之琳), on the other hand, is one of those blessed exceptions that seemingly can outwit time. The age-resistant actress will celebrate her 43rd birthday tomorrow and still looks dazzlingly attractive. Gossips said dating younger men is one of her secrets to maintaining her youthful looks. On Kwan's dating list are an array of 20 to 35 year-old musicians and actors, including 29-year-old A-Shin (阿信), lead signer of local rock band Shin(信樂團), according to Liberty Times (自由時報).
Another pop star that will make her sexual counterparts die of jealousy is Taiwanese singer Zhang Qing-fang (張清芳). Earlier this year, Zhang's super rich husband ordered a luxurious yacht worth NT$40 million as one of her wedding gifts. The yacht recently arrived in Hong Kong and according to Great Daily News (大成報) this expensive piece of machinery is equipped with state-of-the-art radar and GPS systems and can go as fast as a destroyer. Sounds like this mom-to-be is a big fan of speed.
Momko Tao (陶子), however, has suffered a series of setbacks lately. Not only was she criticized for being too self-centered to work with other people, but her new album also suffered surprisingly lackluster sales. Now the critics are complaining about her performance in the TV drama A Detective's Tale (偵探物語). The production team said Tao was a big headache on the set as she is a headstrong person who wanted everyone to listen to her. At a press conference to clear her name, Tao said is quoted as saying in the Liberty Times, "It really hurts to be misunderstood. For a moment, I seriously wanted to put an end to my entertainment career."