- Title: TAIWAN: Director Ang Lee newest film "Taking Woodstock" premieres in Taipei
- Date: 8th October 2009
- Summary: VIEWERS IN THE CINEMA VIEWERS ENTERING THE CINEMA VIEWERS SITTING DOWN IN THE CINEMA TAIWAN SINGER ACTOR WANG LEEHOM TALKING WITH ANG LEE'S MOTHER (SOUNDBITE) (English) TAIWAN SINGER ACTOR WANG LEEHOM, SAYING: "I grew up listening to a lot of music, I am a musician, so the music of that period, classic rock, I think probably is the greatest and the most important concert of all time, for us popular musicians. But this isn't a concert film, this is Lee Ang's take on Woodstock, the spirit of Woodstock." (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) DIRECTOR TSAI MING-LIANG, SAYING: "Director Lee's film is of course a quality work, I see him as a competitor, but a respectful rival. I have seen the trailer and liked it because it is yet another expression from him. The trailer seemed quite lively, so I am looking forward to it." VIEWERS IN THE CINEMA
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2009 13:00
- Reuters ID: LVACKQP74T4Y1QE9RU297QDWPF8K
- Story Text: Director Ang Lee said his newest film "Taking Woodstock" will remind Taiwan of its time of innocence.
Taiwanese director Ang Lee's latest film " Taking Woodstock" premiered in Taipei on Wednesday (October 7) as hundreds gathered to re-experience the music festivities in the late 1960s.
Forty years after the legendary music festival, the Academy Award-winning director conjures the optimism of late 1960s America in a touching film based on the true story of Elliot Tiber, who was instrumental in organising the Woodstock concert.
Bringing this film to Lee's homeland Taiwan, the director says he wishes for the Taiwanese people to also find their time of innocence.
"I think every location has its own age of innocence, and this age of innocence include both the romantic and the bad, but we romanticize it and remember only the good, this is important for us when we move forward. I wish that my viewers can be reminded of their own age of innocence," said Lee.
In "Taking Woodstock", news footage and the presence in the cast of troubled Vietnam war veteran Billy, played by Emile Hirsch, are reminders of the violent backdrop to the event.
But they barely intrude upon what is a feel-good movie in which Lee aimed to capture what he called "the last moment of innocence", and a contrast to his most recent films "Brokeback Mountain" and "Lust, Caution", both tragedies.
The movie premiere attracted artists from musicians to film makers, including Wang Leehom, who was cast in Lee's "Lust Caustion" in 2007.
"I grew up listening to a lot of music, I am a musician, so the music of that period, classic rock, I think probably is the greatest and the most important concert of all time, for us popular musicians. But this isn't a concert film, this is Lee Ang's take on Woodstock, the spirit of Woodstock," said Wang.
Director Tsai Ming-liang, whose recent work "Visage" entered Cannes and was also nominated in two major categories in the Golden Horse Awards, sees "Woodstock" as a respectful competition.
"Director Lee's film is of course a quality work, I see him as a competitor, but a respectful rival. I have seen the trailer and liked it because it is yet another expression from him. The trailer seemed quite lively, so I am looking forward to it," said Tsai.
An estimated 500,000 fans turned up in August, 1969, to hear the likes of Janis Joplin, The Who and Jimi Hendrix perform on a dairy farm belonging to Tiber's neighbour Max Yasgur.
The event was captured in Michael Wadleigh's three-hour 1970 documentary, which picked up an Oscar.
Lee acknowledged the influence of the documentary on Taking Woodstock, and writer James Schamus said he hoped the movie would encourage people to go and watch the earlier work.
"Taking Woodstock", which is based on Tiber's memoirs, has been in wide release in the United States since Aug. 14.
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