Law, Clara 1957-
LAW, Clara 1957-
(Clara Law Chuck-Yiu, Cheukyiu Law, Zhuoyao Luo)
PERSONAL: Born May 29, 1957, in Macao (now China); immigrated to Australia, 1990; married Eddie Ling-Ching Fong (a writer).
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Southern Star Film Sales, Level 10, 8 West St., North Sydney, New South Wales 2060, Australia.
CAREER: Director and writer. Film work as director includes They Say the Moon Is Fuller Here, 1985; Wo ai tai kong ren, 1988; Pan Jin Lian zhi qian shi jin sheng, East West Classics, 1989; Ai zai taxiang de jijie, 1990; Yes! yi zu, 1991; Qiuyue, International Film Circuit, 1992; It's Now or Never, 1992; You Seng, Northern Arts Entertainment, 1993; "Wonton Soup," Erotique, Odyssey Films, 1994; Xi chu bawang, 1994; Floating Life, Southern Star Films, 1996; and The Goddess of 1967, Fandango, 2000.
(With husband, Eddie Ling-Ching Fong) Floating Life (screenplay), Southern Star Films, 1996.
The Goddess of 1967 (screenplay), Fandango, 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Born in Macao and raised in Hong Kong, filmmaker Clara Law immigrated to Australia as an adult. Her story is thus much like that of the Chan family in the screenplay of Floating Life, which she wrote with husband Eddie Ling-Ching Fong. Law also directed the film, in which the Chans, concerned over the impending Communist Chinese takeover of Hong Kong, flee to the freedom and wide-open spaces of Australia. As they discover, however, there might be just a bit too much freedom—with its attendant violence and lawlessness—for their tastes. And the spaces are perhaps too wide for their sensibilities as well: the subdivision in which they settle with their daughter, who already lives in Australia, is depicted as sterile and isolated in contrast to the crowded, invigorating bustle of Hong Kong.
With her 2000 film The Goddess of 1967, Law presented a much more complex tale, which is told in a more richly layered cinematic language. "Utterly postmodern in its story and style," wrote Deborah Young in Variety, "The Goddess of 1967 is a sophisticated picture that could also gain a handhold on younger audiences able to relate to anarchic characters, loud rock, and [a] futuristic treatment of the Australian outback, where the action unfolds." The title refers to a car, the French Citroen DS, nicknamed "the goddess" by admirers. A wealthy Japanese computer hacker discovers one such vehicle for sale on the Internet, and eventually reaches an agreement with the seller, an Australian. He flies to Australia to finalize the purchase, but when he reaches the owner's home, he finds a man and a woman lying in a pool of blood. But not everyone in the house is dead: the beautiful blind niece of the dead man emerges and offers to take him to the car's actual owner, who lives in the out-back, a distance of five days' drive. As Young notes, "It's not a bad premise to get the film rolling."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 35, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Women Filmmakers and Their Films, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.
Chicago Sun-Times, October 17, 2000, Bill Stamets, review of The Goddess of 1967, p. 35.
Variety, September 11, 2000, Deborah Young, review of The Goddess of 1967, p. 28.*