TO SO MANY PEOPLE .... INCLUDING:
CHINA (Hong Kong): Cheung Yuen-ting and Alex Law.
Simply, "Don" was inspired by filmmaker Cheung Yuen-ting whom I interviewed in November 1994 for Australia's ABC Radio
National. She and her partner, Alex Law, were then writing and producing a remarkable new film, The Soong Sisters
(1995-97), directed by Cheung Yuen-ting. The production dealt with an extremely sensitive subject since the Chinese regard two of the sisters - Mme. Chiang Kai-shek and Mme. Sun Yat-sen - as potent icons for the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek and Communists under Mao Zedong respectively. As Donald's connection to the Soongs was strong my research and this project followed. Yuen-ting and Alex (both directors) have made a string of fine movies and Yuen-ting's latest takes in the rock music scene of Beijing.
USA: Ansie Lee Sperry and Henry Sperry
CHINA (Shanghai): Xing Jianrong
AUSTRALIA: The Donald Family
Especially Alan and Nancy Donald, and Phyllis Lucas, for their support, friendship and lways-welcome correspondence.
AUSTRALIA: La Mama Theatre
That means Liz Jones (actor/Artistic Director), Maureen Hartley (actor/Publicity head) and an always wonderful team for allowing me to
stage Don there in 1997. Ultimately too, Betty Burstall who started La Mama in 1967, inspired by New York's "Off Off Broadway" theatres like the original La Mama founded by Ellen Stewart. Named in homage
to the latter, Melbourne's La Mama became a major force in Australian professional theatre, particularly in writing and directing. Miraculously, it continues that role under Liz Jones, aptly honoured with a Lifetime
Achievement Award at the 2001 Green Room Awards in Melbourne. The theatre's capacity (40 to 50 seats) belies its priceless flow of talent through to bigger-money cinema and theatre. [Even Cate Blanchett performed at
CHINA (Hong Kong): Law Kar
One of Hong Kong's best historians writing on cinema. Happily, for me, he is an occasional co-author and his kind interest in Don
indirectly resulted in an extract appearing in Ming Pao Monthly magazine [July 1997].
FRANCE: Phil Casoar
Filmmaker, cartoonist and writer Phil Casoar has enough projects of his own to exhaust two lifetimes let alone offering interest and
suggestions re Don - which he has done so. He nearly caused a seizure in 1975 when I laughed so hard at his animated film about a calamitous affair of Riri the sperm. It played in cinemas all over Paris.
Mark's infectious enthusiasm for HK cinema catalised my own and so led indirectly to Don. One of the country's busiest
filmmakers, Mark has directed 3 features and has just as many in the pipeline. His black comedy, Sensitive New Age Killer (aka SNAK), plays nationally in Australia from May 31. See www.snak-themovie.com
Fellow movie enthusiast, occasional work colleague and, incidentally, one of the hottest "Web" designers around. No, he did not design this site
but he did successfully launch it. Check Toby's professional base and interests on: www.telegraphics.com.au
The late Winston Lewis restored Mr. Donald's name to the "map"of Australian history. He wrote a definitive entry in the
Australian Dictionary of Biography, while passionately preparing an equally definitive biography. In the 70s and 80s,, he extensively travelled to meet former Donald colleagues and spoke to then-living
veterans of Chinese politics from the 30s. Mutual friend Dennis Miller introduced us in Sydney in the mid 1990s by which time Winston had abandoned the project or, at least, put it on hold. I had been unaware of his
efforts until then. Yet he cordially offered me advice and encouragement. I did not know it then but he had not very long to live and, sadly, passed away in the latter 90s.