I recently watched Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing, the film adapted from Han Suyin's semi-autobiographical novel.
Unusually for a 1955 Hollywood production, the crew spent two weeks filming in Hong Kong. Seeing the colonial buildings - especially the now-demolished Foreign Correspondents' Club on Conduit Road - Queen's Road Central and Aberdeen harbour captured on screen was, to me, more romantic than the plot.
Jennifer Jones is cast as widowed Eurasian Dr Han Suyin, who falls for married journalist Mark Elliott (played by the libidinous William Holden, who she apparently found so abhorrent she ate garlic before they filmed scenes together).
At least 15 times, Jones tells Holden, "I'm Eurasian."
Only she isn't. No amount of slickly applied eyeliner, or well-fitted cheongsams, can convince the viewer otherwise.
Given that race is a central theme of the film, it's sad that Jones - patently American, not Eurasian - was cast. That, I thought, would not happen today. The World of Suzie Wong, after all, filmed shortly after, in 1960, saw Hong Kong-born Nancy Kwan, a genuine Eurasian, in the lead role, not an American starlet.
But it seems I was wrong. Emma Stone, a white American actress of Swedish ancestry, plays Allison Ng, who is supposed to be a quarter-Chinese and a quarter-Hawaiian, in Cameron Crowe's new movie Aloha: a romance set in Hawaii, where 50 per cent of residents are ethnically Asian or a Pacific Islander.
Stone's "I'm Eurasian" moment comes when the blue-eyed, red-haired actress teaches people how to pronounce her surname: Ng.
Jones affecting an Asian identity in the 1950s, I can understand. Stone instructing our multicultural world on how to pronounce Ng? Hmm …