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In this week’s Saturday School, we break our sixth season streak of epic, emotional and honorable love stories, and as we hit the turn of the century, we look at “Asian films about Asian Americans” from an entirely different, warped mirror. We’re talking about 1999’s “Gen X Cops” and 2000’s “Gen Y Cops,” which is like a who’s who of Asian American/Canadian/Australian actors who briefly ruled the Hong Kong film industry, when the powers-that-be there were thirsting for new talent and caught some ABC fever. You got Daniel Wu, Maggie Q, Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung, Edison Chen, Jaymee Ong, Terrence Yin -- and post-“Clueless,” pre-“Anchorman” Paul Rudd (“the dark days of Paul Rudd”) with bleached blond hair playing an FBI agent that says things like “You're the one going to the bamboo Alcatraz!” But back to the ABCs: Their Cantonese isn’t great. Their English-language acting is only debatably better. But they’re hot, they don’t give a fuck, and that’s kind of exactly what Hong Kong needed for this new type of hero leading high-octane action flicks with explosions, evil foreign adversaries (like Paul Rudd), nonsensical plot twists AND ROBOTS. History showed that this archetype of an Asian American too-cool-for-school sexually-liberated renegade, a la Edison Chen, wasn’t going to represent the future of the Hong Kong film industry. And probably for good reason, because Asian Americans from the other side of the ocean might have found it all a little bit embarrassing. But looking back, for a brief moment, Asian Americans were ruling the box office in Hong Kong. How did they pull it off? Did they totally improvise their own English lines because nobody behind the camera could tell them otherwise? Probably. And it was kind of glorious.

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