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The real story about Hong Kong films isn't the dramatic decline in their creativity. It is the surgical removal of their distinctiveness as movies of Hong Kong. In their eagerness to please the mainland audience, Hong Kong filmmakers now churn out movies with ready-made plots, powered by simple demographics. I smell more desperation than inspiration in the race to make the Hong Kong cinema mainland-friendly.
Perry Lam was among the first to critically examine Hong Kong movies in English on a regular basis, with reviews in the early 1980s for South China Morning Post. Widely quoted by the international press including Reuters, The Associated Press, Asiaweek and Cahiers du Cin413ma, he has long been recognized as an authority on Hong Kong cinema. He was editorial director of Muse magazine and taught Asian cinema as adjunct professor of Syracuse University Hong Kong Center. He is now assistant editorial director of Oxford University Press and writes columns in Chinese for Hong Kong Economic Journal and Yazhou Zhoukan. Once A Hero: The Vanishing Hong Kong Cinema is his first English book.