Fri, Oct 03, 2008 - Page 14 News List

[POP STOP]

Compiled By Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

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What happens when you say former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should “eat shit” (吃大便) on national television? If you’re TVBS-N’s Liao Ying-ting (廖盈婷), you become a household name overnight — and get a promotion.

Last Saturday, while the network was airing a report on how pro-independence activists were urging Chen to use campaign funds that had been wired overseas to establish a political party, Liao was overheard chatting with other reporters in the news room. “This is nuts,” she said. “How on earth will Chen ever take out the money? [He should] just go and eat shit.”

TVBS punished Liao by docking her two demerit points on her performance record. However, it was quickly realized that the disgraced newswoman would be perfect as a motor-mouth pundit on political talk shows — a job that pays a lot more than real journalism.

Amid the heavy rains and strong winds brought by Super Typhoon Jangmi last weekend, a miracle occurred. Homegrown film Cape No. 7 (海角七號) beat Hollywood blockbuster The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor at the box office. Cape has broken the NT$200 million mark in box office takings and could end up being the highest-grossing film of the year, an achievement no one over the past three decades would have thought possible for a Taiwanese film. Some observers are even predicting that Cape will reach the NT$300 million mark by the end of the year, making it the highest-grossing Chinese-language film ever screened in Taiwan. As a result, big investors are now said to have become more interested in local productions.

Is Taiwanese cinema set for a renaissance? Pop Stop has seen previous predictions concerning the rebirth of the country’s film industry fall flat. It remains to be seen whether Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖), who directed Cape No. 7, will be equally successful with his next project, Seediq Bale (賽德克巴萊), an ambitious Aboriginal epic that stands a greater chance of becoming a hit with the critics than it does of making a lot of money, since it lacks two key ingredients needed for a local hit: youth drama starring pretty-faced idols, and patriotic appeal, as was best exemplified in last year’s hit Island Etude (練習曲).

Moving on to more frivolous matters, 42-year-old Pauline Lan (藍心湄) has reportedly taken an interest in a younger man — again. The object of her desire this time around is theater actor Na Wei-hsun (那維勳), who was observed spending the night at Lan’s mansion last weekend.

Gossip columnists are keen on the alleged Lan-Na tryst because it combines two of their favorite themes: infidelity, and a young man dating a rich, older woman. (Na is married and Lan, seven years his senior, is reportedly worth more than NT$1 billion.) Pop Stop thinks something is wrong with the prevailing notion that it’s perfectly normal for a male tycoon like Terry Gou (郭台銘) to bed a women young enough to be his granddaughter, while a successful woman like Lan stirs controversy by receiving a visit from a man who’s only a few years younger than herself.

Angela Chang (張韶涵) was recently spotted by Next magazine visiting her local Mercedes-Benz dealer sans makeup, a sure sign, Next says, that the pop star has lost her marbles.

You know the signs: Working hard to further one’s music career for five years running, buying a home and an expensive car, gaining weight during a vacation in Canada, frequenting nightclubs and leaving the house without first applying makeup — yep, it’s obvious that Chang is a just few clowns short of a circus.

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