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6KarmicRedemption:MemoryandSchizophreniainHongKongActionFilmsInChapter4,wehaveseenhowJohnnieToandhisMilkywayImageteamseektoarticulateandtranscendtheperceivedcrisisofidentitythroughapost-nostalgicengagementwithlocalcinematicconventions,andtherebyredefineactionandheroismintermsoftheatricality,stasis,andconflictedpsychologicalstatesofmorallyand/orphysicallycom-promisedcharacters.To’sworkreplacesindividualisticheroismwithaflexiblegroupethicthat,initsdarkestmanifestation,eliminatesthehero(e.g.inMadDetective).Thischaptertakesacloserlookatthepathol-ogyofheroisminthelightofanemergingtrendinHongKong’sactioncinema,thatis,theobsessionwithmemory1andthefailureofmem-orytoaccessorunderstandthereal,resultinginadramaticchangeinthefigureoftheactionhero,usuallyacoporacop-likecharacterwithsimilarattributes.Thistrendcanbetracedbacktorelativelylesscommerciallysuccessfulfilmspriorto1997;however,filmsembracingcertainalternativetraitsoftheheroseemtohavegainedamuchfirmerfootholdinmainstreamcinemainthelastsixorsevenyea...