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Interview Clara Law, Eddie Fong: Chinese Diaspora & Global Dream
Themes of Existence and Dream 3/3 - Page 7
Author(s) : Gina Marchetti
Date : 26/8/2010
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Clara Law Cheuk Yu
Movies :
Autumn Moon
< Previous
Page 6 : New creative phase, Goddess of 1967, 2000
Download the article in PDF.

Nancy Tong: I think this is Zhuang-zi’s idea on reality and the dream.
Eddie Fong: Just that, Clara mentioned the keyword: There is no object and subject. Just one.
Gina Marchetti: This is the famous story of philosopher Zhuang-zi . He dreamt of being a butterfly, or perhaps a butterfly dreamt of him. The city scenes are striking in all your films, as well as the landscape in your Australian works particularly. In this case, the cityscape moving between the actual location and the dream location is breathtaking. Could you talk a little bit about that? Also, how does Taipei fit in as a dream city for you?
Clara Law: I suppose one of my qualities is that I am a totally directionless person. But, images stay in my mind. I could pass by my own house, and I don’t know that I’ve reached home. If I look at the place, I’d say, "I’ve been here." Colors, structures, architecture, landscape, shadows and lights... All of these are very important to me and they are part of me. Whenever I approach a script, this would be the first thing in my mind when determining how to create and how to bring out the story. A lot of times we want to hold back, we want the visual to say what is not said --and the sound, too. I believe cinema is a journey of sound and images. Normally, when I start a film, I’ll try to find references to give to the cameraman and the production designer and tell them what I want to do this time. Those references will point a way to what the film will look like. I suppose the landscape and cityscape are important because they point out our relation with the world: how we exist and the way we exist. The cityscape in this film, as in my other films I suppose, said a lot about the desolation of men in the big metropolis, and Max’s relation with it, same as in how a landscape can define a human existence.

Clara Law, Persona’s Abigail Honor and Sion Michel, ACS, on the set in Tribeca,
photo courtesy of Persona Films


I also believe that you can create poetry in film. The more you can use the images to tell a story, the more you can use sound to tell a story, the more the public can be able to perceive it. There’s always a third element that’d come out whenever we try to do this: something that you probably would not have imagined before, but, somehow, it would be there and exist. There’d be a pleasant surprise.

Eddie Fong: I think from Autumn Moon onward, we don’t want to do simply a naturalistic film even though you can’t be without figures, landscapes, characters. But, still, we don’t want to be just that. Even the landscape that Clara has described, sometimes it’s more like an inner landscape rather than external landscape.
Clara Law: I suppose that is one of the things that I like: you know when something is a little bit more abstract, it tells you something more about the thing that is hidden. A lot of times, there is so much mystery in the world, in our existence. When you are able to experiment with this, you are actually allowing the audience to discover more. Instead of saying, "You should see this!" I suggest, "Maybe this is what you see." It’s more a suggestion than saying "I want you to see this as it is." But I want you to see behind it what it is.

Clara Law, Daniel Wu and Director of Photography Sion Michel, ACS, on the set at Coney Island,
photo courtesy of Persona Films

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Page 6 : New creative phase, Goddess of 1967, 2000

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