Hong Kong Women Filmmakers

Au, Susie

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links

Au, Susie – Critical Biography  Top

Susie Au

Susie Au

Susie Au studied filmmaking in New York, and began her career directing commercials and music videos. Quickly establishing herself within the field, Au became associated with such distinguished Cantopop singers as Faye Wong and Anthony Wong, collaborators for whom Au directed a series of memorable and distinctive music videos. Several of these works garnered prizes at the Chicago International Film Festival, while her video for Faye Wong’s song, “Give Up Halfway” (1998), also won Au the Best MTV Award. Au’s impressive work within the music video genre includes collaborations with such artists as Eason Chan, Jacky Cheung, Jeff Chang, Mavis Fan, Joey Yung and Shirley Kwan – a number of these works can now be seen online on Au’s personal YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/Susieau). Au has also made several behind-the-scenes music documentaries, most notably for Eason Chan (Moving On Stage [2007] and Duo [2007]) and Faye Wong (Faye Reborn [2012]). Besides her work with pop musicians, Au has worked most prolifically within the field of commercials, directing numerous spots for high-profile, corporate clients (McDonald’s, Nike, Fuji Film, Bank of China, PCCW and Vitasoy, among others) that are well-regarded and often recognized with awards within the industry.

Ming Ming

Ming Ming (2007)

Au made her feature film debut in 2007 with the film Ming Ming, starring Zhou Xun and Daniel Wu. The film featured Zhou Xun in dual roles as doppelgänger Ming Ming and Nana – a criminal with martial-arts skills and a spunky young girl, respectively. They both become obsessed with tracking down D, a mysterious boxer and triad enforcer, played by Daniel Wu. With the help of cash stolen from D’s triad boss, the two separately make attempts to find D, traveling from Hong Kong to Shanghai and Harbin in China. Along the way, they uncover a secret about D’s origins, as well as unveiling the mystery behind a stolen treasure that D’s triad boss is anxious to recover and preserve. While Ming Ming clearly operates within the parameters of various commercial genres (action, kung fu, triad/crime cinema, romance and mystery), Au as writer-director invests the emotional center of the film with a subversive and genuinely surprising treatment of anxieties related to gender identity and sexual orientation. The film’s climactic revelation of a secret – a repressed memory of gender confusion, maternal concern, and patriarchal oppression, as narrated from a feminine perspective – disrupts the flow of conventions normally associated with masculine film genres and frustrates the narrative’s obsessive quest for an elusive masculinity.

Despite the film’s hip visuals and alluring soundtrack (by Au’s regular collaborator Anthony Wong), Ming Ming received somewhat mixed reviews and a lukewarm reception upon its initial release. Many critics commented on the film’s privileging of style over substance without touching upon the film’s intriguing gender politics. It remains to date Au’s sole feature film; although she has recently directed a short film starring Shu Qi entitled Beauty University (2012), and has continued to work in commercials and music videos. 

Filmography   Top

Feature Films:

Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Director Ming Ming (Trailer) 明明 2007

Shorts:

Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Director
Writer
Beauty University 美麗大學 2012
Director Moonwall 牆前明月光 2004
Project director
Writer
Fable 4:30 PM 2003
Director Hide and Seek 1993

Reviews   Top

Ming Ming Review: http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/ming_ming.htm
– A critical take on Au’s debut feature by web film critic Kozo.

Links   Top

Official Website of Susie Au: http://www.susieau.com/
Official website of Ming Ming: http://www.mingmingthemovie.com/
Ming Ming Official Blog (Taiwan): http://blog.roodo.com/mingmingthefilm
Trailer of Ming Ming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viBHPNdH66Y

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