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Clara Law Cheuk Yu

 
 
 
 
Other names : 罗卓瑶
Law Cheuk Yu
Clara Law
 
Birthdate : 29/5/1957
Nationality : Macau
Workplace : Australia, Hong Kong
Activities : Director (15), Assistant Director (1), Producer (1), Writer (6)

Biography

Clara Law was born in Macau, studied in Hong Kong and in England and has worked in Hong Kong and in Australia. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner Eddie Fong.

Clara Law graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a degree in English Literature. She joined Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) in 1978 as an assistant producer/director. From 1978 to 1981, she directed a total of twelve drama programmes for the television channel. From 1982 to 1985, she studied film direction and writing at the National Film and Television School in England. Her graduation film, They Say the Moon is Fuller Here, won the Silver Plague Award at the Chicago Film Festival in 1985. Law returned to Hong Kong the same year and began to develop her first feature film, while continuing to direct drama programmes for RTHK.

She has worked on each film project with her life partner Eddie Fong ever since.

Law’s films that were released in France include Temptation of a Monk, The Goddess of 1967 and Autumn Moon.

In 1988, Clara Law completed The Other Half & The Other Half, produced by Teddy Robin Kwan. This is a comedy which tackles the emotional problems of married couples having to live apart due to emigration. This was a most common yet bitter situation created by the Hong Kong 1997 issue, the date set for the British to retrocede Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.

Clara Law's second film The Reincarnation of Golden Lotus (1989), retells the story of an amorous woman from the famous Chinese classic novel, The Golden Lotus, and brings her to present-day Hong Kong through her two reincarnations. The Reincarnation of Golden Lotus was produced by Teddy Robin Kwan and starred Eric Tsang and Joey Wong. It was screened at the Toronto Film Festival and was commercially released in the USA.

A year later, Law made Farewell China, produced again by Teddy Robin Kwan and starring Tony Leung Ka Fai and Maggie Cheung Man Yuk. The film deals with the tragic fate of a young Chinese woman who emigrates to New York, and ends up in a demonstration against the Tiananmen Square Massacre (1989). The film won the Special Jury Award at the Torino Film Festival in 1990 and four major awards at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan.

Produced by a big HK film studio Fruit Punch, made in 1991, was a pure commercial product boasting a stellar cast. The film follows the love lives and careers of five men in Hong Kong.

In 1992, Law explored in Autumn Moon the hopes and fears of a young Japanese man and a Chinese schoolgirl who bump into each other in Hong Kong. The film stars Japanese actors Masatoshi Nagase and Kiuchi Maki, was art directed by Timothy Yip and produced by Law and Eddie Fong. The film was very popular in the film festival circuit. It won the Golden Leopard Award at the Locarno Film Festival in 1992, as well as the European Art Theatres Association Best Picture Award and the Youth Special Jury Award in Switzerland and the Best Screenplay in Valencia (1994). It was also awarded at the Belgium and Portugal film festivals. Autumn Moon was selected for official screenings at the New York Film Festival as well as in Sundance, Toronto, London, Rotterdam, Gothenburg, Thessaloniki, Nantes, San Francisco, Créteil, Dublin, Puerto Rico, Seattle, Jerusalem, New Delhi, Wellington, Midnight Sun Finland, Rio de Janeiro, Reykjavik, Ghent, Munich, Ankara, Sydney and Melbourne.

Fruit Punch was directed back to back with Autumn Moon. Law had to endure a lot of commercial pressure from the former while there was no commercial pressure whatsoever making the latter. Says Law: “That was how I kept my balance then!”

For her next feature, Law came back to a literature adaptation. She adapted a novella by Lilian Lee into Temptation of a Monk. Law’s first costume drama stars China actress Joan Chen (playing a dual role) and Taiwanese actor Wu Hsing Kuo, and was produced by Teddy Robin Kwan. Shot entirely on location in the north and north-western part of China from December 1992, the film was completed in July 1993. It contains some expertly choreographed action set-piece, which are very violent. The film was rated Category III in Hong Kong for its violence. Temptation of a Monk was selected for competition at the Venice Film Festival in 1993. It won the Grand Prix at the Créteil International Film Festival in France (1994). The film was also selected for official screenings at the Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam and Brisbane film festivals, and as the closing film at the L.A. Film Festival.

In 1994, Law finished the segment, Wonton Soup, of an omnibus film about erotic desires called Erotique. The film was shot entirely on location in Hong Kong. Other segments of Erotique were made by female directors from the U.S., Germany and Brazil (Lizzie Borden, Monika Treut and Ana Maria Magalhães). [The Brazilian segment is not present in all releases.]

Note: Great Conqueror's Concubine 1 & 2 (1994) was not directed by Law as some databases report. Law had no part in any aspect of the production for this film. (Source: personal communication with Clara Law).

In 1994, Law immigrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne with Eddie L.C. Fong.

Floating Life is Clara Law’s and Eddie Fong’s first feature film made after they immigrated to Australia. The film was co-written with Eddie Fong and was completed in 1996. Floating Life follows a Chinese family that falls apart after moving from Hong Kong to Australia. It won the Silver Leopard Award at the Locarno Film Festival in 1996, and two other awards including Best Film, it was selected by Prix FICC and the "Ambiente salute: Qualita di vita" award. It also won the Best Film and Best Director Awards at the Gijon International Film Festival in Spain, and the Grand Prix at the Créteil International Film Festival in France. It was nominated for three awards at the Australian Film Institute Awards including Best Director and Best Screenplay, and it received nine nominations at the Golden Horse International Film Festival in Taiwan, including the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Floating Life was also Australia's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 69th Academy Awards (1997). The film was also screened at the Sydney, Melbourne, London, Rotterdam, Hof, Stockholm, Toronto and Hawaii film festivals.

The Goddess of 1967, shot on location in the outback of Australia and Tokyo, was completed in 2000. It was in competition at the Venice film festival in 2000 where Rose Byrne won the Best Actress Award. What’s more, Clara Law was nominated for the Golden Lion in Venice. The film also pocketed the Best Director Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Best Director Award at the Teplice Art Film Festival in Slovakia and the FIPRESCI Critics' Award for Best Film at the Tromso Film Festival in Norway. The film was also selected for official screenings at the Toronto, London, Pusan, Hof, Vancouver, Hawaii, Taipei, Rotterdam, Jerusalem, Karlovy Vary and Oslo film festivals.

In 2004, Law directed her first documentary on digital video, Letters To Ali. Eddie Fong co-produced, shot and edited the film. Made in response to the dire situation of asylum seekers in Australia, the documentary was a totally self-funded non-profit film, made with the support of the local film community by way of sponsorship, donations and a pro bono work force. The film tells the story of a young Afghan boy seeking asylum in Australia. As a refugee claimant he is incarcerate in a remote detention centre. A local family, who exchange letters with the boy for 18 months, embarks on a cross-country journey across the Australian outback to visit and help the teenager. The film was selected for competition at the Venice Film Festival and for official screenings at the Toronto, Pusan, Gothenburg and Melbourne film festivals. Letters to Ali was hailed by critics as one of the 100 greatest films in Australian cinema.

Like a Dream marked Law’s return to Asia. Completed in 2009, the film is a contemporary love story that focuses on a dream with the male protagonist (Daniel Wu) sacrificing everything in his quest for pure love. Like a Dream was produced by Peggy Chiao and Eddie Fong and stars Daniel Wu and Yolanda Yuan Quan. What’s more, it was shot on location in Taipei, Shanghai and New York. The film was nominated in nine categories at the 2009 Golden Horse Awards. It also opened the 2010 Hong Kong International Film Festival.

In 2010, Law made a short film, Red Earth, commissioned by the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The short was selected in the Horizon category at the 2010 Venice film festival.

Thomas Podvin (September 2010)

Source: Clara Law (31/08/2010)
 
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Filmography
 [ Director - Assistant Director - Producer - Writer ] 
 Alternate lists by alpha / genre / year
 
Title    ( HK -  All ) Year  Activity (  Year - Title )
 
Director
 Unbearable Lightness Of Inspector Fan, The 2015 Director
 Red Earth 2010 Director
 Like A Dream 2009 Director
 Letters To Ali 2004 Director
 Goddess Of 1967, The 2000 Director
 Floating Life 1996 Director
 Wonton Soup - Erotique 1994 Director
 Temptation Of A Monk 1993 Director
 Autumn Moon 1992 Director
 Fruit Punch 1991 Director
 Farewell China 1990 Director
 Reincarnation Of Golden Lotus, The 1989 Director
 Other 1/2 & The Other 1/2, The 1988 Director
 Faces And Places 1981 Director
 Police Drama 1980 Director
 
Assistant Director
 Below The Lion Rock 1977 Assistant Director
 
Producer
 Autumn Moon 1992 Producer
 
Writer
 Unbearable Lightness Of Inspector Fan, The 2015 Writer
 Red Earth 2010 Writer
 Like A Dream 2009 Writer
 Letters To Ali 2004 Writer
 Goddess Of 1967, The 2000 Writer
 Floating Life 1996 Writer
 

 Article    Review    Poster/Gallery    DVD Captures    Trailer    DVD Captures/Trailer  
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Gallery
 
 Clara Law Cheuk Yu pictures :  (Hide)
The Goddess Of 1967
 
 Other Clara Law Cheuk Yu pictures :  (Hide)
Like A Dream (3)
 
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Article Links
 Secondary Article Links   (Show)

 
Article Links (French only)  
 Secondary Article Links (French only)   (Show)

 
Interview Links   (Hide)  
 
 Interview Clara Law, Eddie Fong: Chinese Diaspora & Global Dream (preview)
HK talents > Film directors > Other directors
Author(s) : Gina Marchetti
Date : 26/8/2010
Type(s) : Interview
Page(s) : 1  2  6  7  - index
   
 
 
 Secondary Interview Links   (Show)
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