ac know ledg ments
In the summer of 2010 I visited the Hong Kong Film Archive for the first time,
with a vague notion of starting a book project about the films and songs of the
postwar star Grace Chang. What I found after immersing myself in the archive
led me to fundamentally rethink my understanding of Chinese film history,
resulting in a different book from what I had initially conceived. The following
individuals helped bring this project to fruition and shaped many of its twists
and turns.
It is difficult to imagine how this book would have come together without
the encouragement and support of Sam Ho, who was head of programming
at the Hong Kong Film Archive for the duration of my research. Sam was un-
failingly generous in sharing his expertise, recommending films and readings,
helping me navigate the archive, and acting as a sounding board for my ideas.
Even though I am very happy to be finished, I miss the plea sure of his company
and the delicious food at our lunches in Sai Wan Ho.
Andrew Jones not only inspired many of the questions asked in this book
with his innovative scholarship, but he also played an instrumental role in its
development. I am deeply grateful for his rigorous critical feedback, which has
benefited this study from beginning to end in countless ways and helped me
better articulate its main ideas. I owe a debt of gratitude to Jason McGrath for
being a terrific colleague and also a staunch ally when I needed it most. Guo-
Juin Hong has been a consistently enlivening presence. I trea sure his friend-
ship and wit, and I thank him for being a wonderful host when I presented my
research at the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke University.
Emilie Yeh and Darrell Davis provided me with an intellectual anchor and
a reason to look forward to my trips to Hong Kong. On many occasions they
have been gracious hosts and invigorating interlocutors. I thank Emilie for in-
cluding me in the excellent conference she or ga nized at Hong Kong Baptist
University in 2013. Sze Wei Ang was a lifesaver on multiple occasions; I thank
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