This monograph is a study of a genre and the work of a director in the contemporary Hong Kong cinema. The theoretical premise of this monograph is that the work of the director in focus, Johnnie To (Chinese name: To Kei-fung in Cantonese, Du Qifeng in Mandarin), has affected and changed the nature of genre and its industry more so than the other way around. Some of his works are presented. The auteur function is the centre of the film texts in this study, with genre occupying a subordinate position coordinated into the texts. The genre exerts are discussed as a constraint. It also retraces the history of To's achievements within the genre and poses a historicist connection between To, the action film genre, and the Hong Kong film industry. To's three periods of development are examined in order to consider the historicist connections and to see more clearly To's accomplishments and status vis-à-vis his contemporaries in the Hong Kong cinema. Furthermore, an overview of the chapters included in this monograph is provided.
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