What Woodstock means to Taiwan

taking-woodstock-poster-1Academy Award winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s (李安) latest film Taking Woodstock was released in Taiwan last week. The film looks at the generation defining concert from the perspective of Elliot Tiber who has written a book of the same name.

Dan Bloom has written an article on his blog looking at what Woodstock means to some foreign residents of Taiwan (update: edited version at The Wild East). The article includes a quote from me even though I wasn’t even born when the Woodstock concert took place in 1969.

The article mentions a number of Taiwan music festivals such as Spring Scream and Hohaiyan. The event in Taiwan that is probably closest to Woodstock in spirit is the annual Peace Festival. This year it is happening near Hualian on 6-8 November.

Have you seen Taking Woodstock? Have you had your own Woodstock experience? Let me know what you think in the comments.

6 thoughts on “What Woodstock means to Taiwan

  1. We saw the movie last weekend. It was pretty good, but nothing great. It could easily be left until DVD. I had been really looking forward to this movie, and while I did like it, I feel it probably didn’t live up to its potential. The trip scene was pretty cool though and brought back memories of a few of my own experiences of similar things.

    Woodstock moments for me, hmm. Maybe mid-90s psy/Goa trance parties in India, Nepal and Thailand, or Earthcore/Green Ant in Melbourne would be closest.

  2. Thanks Craig. I haven’t seen it yet. Ang Lee has set such a high standard with some of his previous films, while this one seems to me a bit more of a light-hearted comedy. I’d still like to see it though.

  3. David, interesting follow up to the Woodstock blog story that didn’t make it into the papers here for reasons of space and timing and budget cuts …. but one the expats interviewed for the story, Martin DeJonge who lives in northern Taiwan along a beautiful beach and works in central Taipei for a marketing firm told me that HE WAS IN THAT ANG LEE movie about Woodstock. It’s true. His sister was the production designer for Lee on the movie last year, and in one scene, she quietly arranged to have a photograph and her and her brother and other family members placed in one of the interior scenes in a home for the movie. So Martin was suppoed to appear in the movie as part of that photograph! It would have been his first starrring role as an extra, he told me. BUT….

    FATE intervened, and here is the rest of the story: He tells me today:

    “I went to see the Ang Lee movie at Warner Village in Taipei last week. The other members of my family were clearly to be seen in that photo, but me? Covered up by Chinese subtitles! How funny is that!”

    Close, but no cigar. Still, I would give him an honorary Oscar for ALMOST appearing in an Ang Lee film!

    True story!

    PS: There was a long hour-long interview on TVBS channel 56 last night with Ang Lee in Chinese, he seems like one of the most relaxed and laid-back directors Hollywood has ever fielded! He just radiates cool laidback easygoing Tainan teenage boy from way back, and although he’s now in his 50s, he’s still that little boy growing up in Tainan, with the whole world before him now. BRAVO!

  4. Thanks Dan. I added a link to the edited version in the post. Interesting story about Martin De Jonge. Did any of the local media pick that up?

  5. Did any of the local media pick it up? NADA. No apparent interest. They all just used wire stories for all their Woodstock coverage, except for the two local movie reviews by Dimitri Bruyas at the Post and Ian Bartholomew at the Times, and neither review went into that kind of stuff. Just pure movie review stuff.

    Long life the Blogosphere!

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