Here's my reply to Pete's message:
According to Jacob Wong, programmer of the Hong Kong Film Festival, as
recently as 1998 we produced 150 films, outproducing Hong Kong, which only
did 90 plus.
In the '50s, '60s, and '70s, we were doing better quality films than Hong
Kong (except for a few exceptions), easily the best in Southeast Asia.
In the '50s, Ramon Estella trained under Fred Zinneman and Robert
Flaherty, and did films for Vietnam and Malaysia (Teddy Co jokingly calls
him Malaysia's greatest filmmaker), an Italian film in the 1960s and
Japanese films in the 1970s.
Of course, everyone must know by now about Manuel Conde's friendship with
James Agee, and how Agee championed his Genghis Khan, which went on to
screen in the Venice Film Festival in 1952 (easily better than the John
We were always a world power. We just never knew about it.