yesterday peter and i went to eslite to see this small exhibit on hakka music. they had old records on display, as well as quite a few old phonographs. i ended up buying this ten disc set of old taiwanese music. music from 1910-1945. i've listened to two discs so far, and it appears that a lot of this music is taiwanese opera. the set comes with a decent book giving information on the various releases, lyrics(i think) and an interview or two. of course it's all in chinese, and somehow i don't think i'll be up to the translation effort on this one.
one major drawback to the book that comes with the set is that there aren't very many pictures, and the ones they have are not of the highest quality. i would have liked to have seen large pictures of the sleeves and/or labels. but the few pictures of this sort they have are rather small.
when i went up to buy the set, they looked rather shocked that i wanted to buy it, or that i'd even be interested in such things. on the display table they had a flyer for you to order the dvd release of a documentary on old taiwanese records. the flyer didn't say, but i suspect that the dvd release is in taiwanese with chinese subtitles just like it was when it aired. i would have bought it for sure if it had english subtitles.
after the hakka show we wandered into eslite's music store and to my great surprise they had copies of the mambo girl dvd for sale. a film i've been wanting to see ever since i'd heard about it. i bought it, but haven't had the chance to watch it yet.
later in the day we met up with cindy and her boyfriend ryan and went to taipei film house to see the lars von trier film dogville. ryan accompanied us to the theater, but didn't go to the film having an aversion to the films of lars von trier. this is the first time i'd been to taipei film house, and if they show other art films in english, i'll definately be going. the theater isn't very big, but the audience seems to be better than your usual lip smacking, cell phone talking taiwanese audience. we all liked(well, maybe liked isn't the right word) the film. peter was quite happy to see it end in a blaze of violence as it's the sort of thing that he dreams about happening to all the stupid people in the world.