Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 08 2008

Topics article, Speed Racer

AmCham’s TOPICS magazine has published an article by Steven Crook about English-language bloggers in Taiwan, including interviews with Michael Turton, Greg Talovich, Michael Turton, me, Jason Cox, Scott Sommers, Joanna Rees and Michael Turton. It’s an interesting article in that it seems bloggers sound different when they’re speaking to a reporter about their blogs than they do when they’re blogging. Perhaps this has something to do with being asked specific questions instead of just writing whatever comes to mind.

No deep revelations here, though. This account continues to be about trivial minutiae (and I’m sure there’s a blog out there with exactly that name; if there’s not, there should be), and I will prove it by telling you that I saw Speed Racer last night. I was a bit apprehensive, not only about the idea of making a feature-length movie about a 70’s cartoon that I remember enjoying as a child (my model Mach V was a favorite toy), but the potentially headache-inducing colors, especially in the LUX theater’s digital projection format. I needn’t have worried, however; Speed Racer is a fun, well-paced romp. ZenithSure, it’s a long cartoon, but I’d rather the Wachowskis stick with this level of storytelling than venture back into the pseudo-deep-thought morass of the Matrix trilogy. This is a much simpler thing, a return to a long Saturday morning, stretched out on the big rope rug in the family room gazing up at the huge, dusty Zenith, reveling in the power of its three clunky channels.

posted by Poagao at 10:17 pm  


  1. i would say that’s a rather oddball selection from the English blogging community.

    Comment by MJ Klein — May 9, 2008 @ 8:03 am

  2. I have been reading your blog for a while, I found it hugely entertaining and extremely well written. All the innuendo of life and living as a stranger in a strange land.. all the joy, the sadness, the all those almost unexpressable emotions you seem to have no problem to eloquently expressed yourself. I found myself compelled to spending hours reading and re-reading your blog, remembering my childhood at the same time thinking about my future.

    I am also curious, I have seen your film, don’t mind me to be blunt but I found your film to be sort of adolescence fantasy, lacking the plot maturity and visual poetry that is so evident in your photography and writing. It is as if the films were made by someone else.

    I really think that you could just source your inspiration for film from your daily life, your blog for example, or even just your photography collection. I am sure you have seen a lot of Ang Lee’s film, where accurate, but minute portrayal of daily lives of common people was expressed into extrordinary storyline. Some of your blog post reminds me of “The Wedding Banquet”, “Eat Drink Man Woman”, or Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love”, or “Chungking Express”. Those were more closer to your style of writing and visual expression (as seen in your photography)to capture fleeting feeling of living in a post modern world.

    I really believe you have the fiber of being a great director.

    Good luck with your film project, I can’t wait to see your next one. (Or one after that)

    Comment by Shagspear — May 11, 2008 @ 5:49 am

  3. Shagspear, I assume you are talking about the Lady X film, i.e. Clay Soldiers. Well, the next film will be in a very similar vein, just on a larger scale. Neither could be described as “my” films, however, as they are collaborative efforts that I had a hand in. I would like to make the kind of projects you describe, and hope to do so after this one is complete. Thanks for your support.

    Comment by Poagao — May 11, 2008 @ 5:57 am

  4. In one of your post, you were complaing about not being able to capture facial expression of your subject, I found it maybe your strongest point, insteading of capturing the facial expression, you are great a capturing just the body posture, or the environment without the subject itself. If you seen “in the mood for love”, a lot of shots are very similar in vein, it seems to intentionally miss the face shot but just a static shot capturing the hallway or the surrounding, or not even the character’s face but just part of it. Anyway just a thought 😉

    Comment by Shagspear — May 11, 2008 @ 6:17 am

  5. shorter Steven Crook: “why do you blog? how many hits doe you get a day? ever heard of Chinabounder?” Bleh.

    Comment by Prince Roy — May 11, 2008 @ 11:46 am

  6. Re the “rather oddball selection from the English blogging community.”

    Well, as the hack who did the article, I can explain. Every blogger I talked to said I must feature Michael as he’s the leading ELBinT. I included Poagao as I know him, he started blogging long long ago, and his content is quite different to Michael’s. Scott’s themes also differ from Michael’s and Poagao’s. Joanna because I wanted at least one female blogger, and someone who uses her blog to promote her business (photography). Greg because of the UN five-minutes-of-fame…

    Sure, there are plenty more interesting blogs out there. I like Black American Lawyer in China.

    Keep up the good work, TC!

    Comment by Steven Crook — May 12, 2008 @ 7:40 pm

  7. Hi Steven and TC thanks for supporting the article. Excellent review TC and great article Steven. Things have been busy with my PhD lately so my blog has been a bit of a low priority. Things will get better this the summer.

    In the article it was good to read about other members of the Taiwan blog community and I enjoyed seeing Steve’s interview in print.

    Comment by Joanna — May 16, 2008 @ 2:00 am

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