My film column has been running non-stop for 30 years, Monday to Sunday, 365 days a year. Writing keeps my life occupied. I’ve written every day for 40 years. I was born and raised in Macau. I moved to Hong Kong after graduating from high school and have been living here ever since. The old Macau was a unique village with a heavy European flavor. It was a laidback, uncommercial place. The new strip of foreign casinos has brought prosperity into the city. Macau has changed from head to toe, but I guess I can’t really complain - after all, it is money. Back in the 60s, I used to make low-budget independent movies on 8mm films with John Woo. It was fun, but it was just a hobby to me. I was not patient enough with all the planning and waiting around, which productions of proper films require. I worked at Mingpao for over 10 years and I realized I was never cut out to be some guy who could work hour after hour in the office. People who think contemporary movies are wild and are constantly testing the social boundaries obviously haven’t watched films from the 70s. The cinema experience is mostly about family fun now, in contrast to the predominately male audience of the 70s. I have an easy job. I get paid to watch films. The movie industry in is decline partly due to fact that it is no longer the only affordable form of entertainment. I watch about 250-300 films a year. I’ve lost count of how many films I’ve watched ... I’m aware that it’s my job to express an opinion, but who am I to trash someone’s work when I don’t produce anything myself. I’m still a slow writer. It takes me about two hours to write an article for my daily column. I have never had any problems with editors forcing me to write anything contradictory to my opinion - that’s one thing good about working for long years in the same place. People treat you with respect. I am nocturnal - just like the nighttime taxi drivers. TV kills the imagination. I prefer reading. Hong Kong films are now targeting mainlanders. It’s effectively 1 billion vs. 8 million people. People don’t make movies for their own amusement - they need to make money. The internet has helped independent films tremendously. Everyone can be a producer. But simultaneously, since there are so many films available online, it’s even more difficult to get backing from movie studios and there’s less chance of showing your movie in a cinema. Local movies were most successful in the 90s in terms of revenue, though they were the worst ever. Local films were certainly more popular before 1997, because Hong Kongers were afraid they might be soon losing something which is distinctly authentic, the status of being a British colony. It was a time where any mundane movie could easily become a big box office hit. The audience watched films not because they thought they were viewing a masterpiece. They would just watch anything with the mentality that “we should cherish everything as long as it’s ours.” Since 97, Hong Kong people have become grumpier and more envious. I feel that people are lacking self- confidence and are having a bit of an identity crisis. I enjoy hiking. There are many hiking paths in the city, and they are often no more than 20 minutes away from the residential areas. People should know about this urban secret. Hong Kongers are hyper-paranoid. I do believe that we live in a very liberal society with great freedom of expression. You realize this when you begin comparing what you can and can’t have - just compare our situation with the one in China and you feel a whole lot better already. Although I’ve called Hong Kong home for more than forty years, part of me still feels attached to Macau.