Supermodel Lin Chi-ling (林志玲) is getting an image makeover with her role in Treasure Hunter (刺陵), a big-budget action flick scheduled to open next week. This is her second role in a feature movie. Clearly Lin is making the right kind of moves because Treasure Hunter stars Jay Chou (周杰倫), features a high-profile cast including Eric Tsang (曾志偉) and Chen Dao-ming (陳道明) and is directed by Kung Fu Dunk (功夫灌籃) director Chu Yin-ping (朱延平). This is a significant shift from Lin’s previous role as Xiao Qiao in John Woo’s (吳宇森) Red Cliff (赤壁). In Treasure Hunter, Lin casts off her demur demeanor and takes up sword and spear in a martial role akin to that of Angelina Jolie’s Laura Croft.
At a press conference in Singapore to promote the film, Lin said that she gave herself a seven out of 10 for her performance. Lin garnered mixed reviews for her presence in Red Cliff, but on this occasion she has certainly impressed other cast members, including Chou, with her energy and eagerness to learn. The United Daily News quoted Chou as saying: “When a beautiful woman fights, it looks good no matter what. That’s the important point.” Perhaps Chou wasn’t being so complimentary about Lin’s talent after all. Lin also took it upon herself to write the lyrics for the film’s theme song. Chou, who composed the music, dispensed with the services of Vincent Fang (方文山), the much sought-after lyricist, after seeing Lin’s efforts. “Next time we won’t have to book Fang,” Chou said. “He always has so much work on hand.”
With Treasure Hunter, Chou’s bid to make it in the movie business, on both sides of the camera, is clearly being established. Another singer who has dabbled in acting — and who now wants to take the director’s chair — is Wang Lee-hom (王力宏). According to the United Daily News, Wang has quietly begun shooting in China for a new feature film and has received support and advice from mentors Ang Lee (李安) and Jackie Chan (成龍). Chan’s own new feature film Big Soldiers (大兵小將), staring Wang, is scheduled for release early next year. In regard to his directorial style, Wang said he wanted to be a director like Ang Lee, someone who didn’t have to resort to shouting at people on set. “I’m not very good at telling people off,” he was quoted as saying.
Wang — once regarded as one of the hottest men in the Chinese-language entertainment industry — is nowhere to be seen in the Apple Daily’s poll of best looking men, with heartthrob Vic Chou (周渝民) of boy band F4 fame taking the top spot. Singer Jerry Yan (言承旭) took second place, and Ethan Ruan (阮經天) third. Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武) placed fourth. The 36-year-old actor is doing well to have kept his place in the top five lookers despite his age. Fifth place went to Mark Chao (趙又廷) of the recent hit cop shop series Black & White (痞子英雄).
On the romantic front, Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) is back on the prowl and Next Magazine reports that following her traumatic breakup with Eddie Peng (彭于晏), she has picked up with model Godfrey Kao (高以翔). According to Next, Kao is keeping a low profile on his conquest as Tsai’s former boyfriend Peng is a buddy. This hasn’t prevented the paparazzi from catching the two flagrantly trying to avoid public scrutiny by leaving various nightspots surreptitiously, and by different exits.
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
In the regular drumbeat of arrests of alleged Chinese spies, one case last month stood out. It did not involve the US or another rival of China, but Russia, whose security services accused a prominent arctic scientist of selling classified data on technologies for detecting submarines. Meanwhile a court in Kazakhstan in October convicted the Central Asia nation’s preeminent China specialist of espionage, a move widely interpreted at the time as a warning against increased meddling by the superpower next door. Both men maintain their innocence and if China is spying on Russia, Moscow is surely doing the same. Even so, the fact