群星會 (Stardust), 1970

A few weeks ago, a DVD of 群星會 (qún​ xīng​ huì​, English title: Stardust) came into my possession. It is a Taiwanese film that was released in 1970 and follows the lives of several showgirls as they deal with feckless boyfriends, sugar daddies who use way too much hair pomade, silently disapproving parents and large headpieces, all while trying to keep their multiple pairs of false eyelashes from taking over their brains:

群星會 (Stardust), 1970
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I wish I could tell you more about the film, but it’s a bit hard to find information about it because 群星會 is also the name of a long-running TV show and at least one other film. I haven’t seen the other 群星會’s, but I’m willing to go out on a glittery limb made entirely of silver tin foil and say that this is probably the best 群星會 out there. There are some groovilicious musical numbers, gravity-defying hairstyles, heart-stopping pant suits and one stupidly dramatic, hazily-shot amphetamine-related death of an attractive woman — in other words, the late 1960s at its very best!

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群星會 (Stardust), 1970
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I nearly passed out with glee while watching 群星會. I love retro style and music and campy films. To be able to combine all these things with my interest in Taiwanese cultural history and Mandarin is just wonderful… as wonderful as a collection of mint green interior blinds:

群星會 (Stardust), 1970
I stumbled upon a copy of the DVD for NT$99 in Eslite’s film and music store. The transfer is awful. At pivotal points in the film, such as when Chia-chia’s boyfriend tells her that he wants her to stop performing and let him support her instead with his earnings from the plastics factory, entire halves of the actors’ faces are cut off. Grrr! But aside from that, I highly recommend 群星會, with every little bit of my polyester heart.