Tourist tries public suicide
A Chinese tourist was rushed to a hospital yesterday after he tried to commit suicide in front of the Presidential Office building, police said. The 35-year-old man stood on Ketagalan Boulevard, produced a knife and started stabbing himself in the head, shouting: “I want to die,” police said.
The man, surnamed Chen (陳), was visiting Taipei with a tour group, the authorities said after conducting their initial investigation. His motive, mental health status and other details were not immediately available.
Chinese film rising: Ang Lee
Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (李安) yesterday said that Chinese-language cinema could earn more revenue than Hollywood in 10 years’ time, without broadening its appeal. Lee made the remarks ahead of the Golden Horse Film Awards. The 50th edition of the annual awards ceremony is to take place on Nov. 23 in Taipei. “I think in 10 years’ time, maybe our market will be bigger than the Hollywood market. Things will come naturally,” said the Taiwanese director, who will chair the jury for this year’s festival. “It’s important that we keep doing it. It will have ups and downs, but eventually it will pay back.” Industry analysts have predicted that China — which collected an estimated US$2.8 billion in box office earnings last year, compared with Hollywood’s US$10.8 billion — will become the world’s dominant film market by 2020, if its current rate of growth is sustained.
Locals win animation prize
A film by young Taiwanese animators won the best animation award at the New York Los Angeles (NYLA) International Film Festival last month, Ling Tung University, their alma mater, said on Monday. It was the first time that an animation by Taiwanese students won the best animation award at the festival, according to the university. The short animation, titled Blessing (庇主), was the graduation project of Chen Wei-jhih (陳威志), Chuang Tsai-jung (莊采融), Lin Chih-ju (林芝如) and Huang Shuo-ping (黃碩平). It was inspired by a traditional boat-burning festival held to expel plague demons. The 3D animation, which took the foursome one-and-a-half years of university to complete, is about a young boy who has the power to decide the fate of his village. The festival is a biannual event that takes place in New York and Los Angeles.
Contact lenses on the rise
The nation’s contact lens market grew over the first nine months of the year, spurred by the improving quality of eye care providers and a more discerning public, market research firm GfK Group said. Taiwanese consumers have spent US$127 million on contact lenses so far this year up to September, the firm said. The increased efforts on behalf of optometrists and lens manufacturers to educate the public about eye care and what the latest technology can do to solve vision problems have greatly increased consumer awareness of the eyewear options available to them, the firm said. South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore also saw growth in their respective contact lens markets, with Malaysia registering the biggest increase at 15 percent. Also driving the growth is a shift in consumer mentality, as people become less price conscious and shift toward the more expensive toric and silicone hydrogel lenses, GfK Group said.