Lai, Miu-suet Carol

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links   Bibliography

Lai, Miu-suet Carol – Critical Biography  Top

Carol Lai
Carol Lai

Originally trained in marketing, Carol Lai entered the film industry in 1989 as an assistant director and worked behind the scenes in various capacities for over a decade, before she made her feature film debut as a writer-director with Glass Tears (2001). Lai’s debut was an intimate and sensitive drama about a runaway teen and her relationship with her various family members, including her grandfather – a retired policeman – who goes searching for her in the city. Selected for inclusion as part of Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, Glass Tears starred newcomers Zeny Kwok and Tsui Tin-Yau (of the group Shine), alongside veteran actress Carrie Ng and Shaw Brothers’ legend Lo Lieh (in his final performance as the girl’s grandfather). The film was made on a shoestring budget but received generally positive reviews, and quickly led to Lai’s second feature as writer-director, The Floating Landscape (2003). Starring Ekin Cheng, Karena Lam, and mainland actor Liu Ye, The Floating Landscape was shot in Qingdao and revolves around a young girl who goes in search of the landscape she sees frequently depicted in her recently departed lover’s many paintings. Lai enlisted the help of celebrated Taiwanese illustrator Jimmy Liao for the paintings featured in the film. It won many admirers in France and, in particular, Japan, where a book was commissioned with further paintings by Liao, inspired by the film. The film was also screened in competition at the international film festivals of Venice and Busan.

Nearly four years passed before Lai directed another film, and from Naraka 19 (2007) onwards, Lai’s work has been more genre-bound and commercial in orientation. Starring Gillian Chung (from the pop duo Twins), Naraka 19 is a horror film centered on young girls who find access to the different levels of hell through a cell phone message group. Produced by Andrew Lau, The Third Eye (2007) is a thriller about voyeurism, starring a young cast and set in a small motel on rural Lantau Island that is rigged with hidden cameras set up by one of the inhabitants. Lai turned to the mainland market in 2012 with The Second Woman (2012), a thriller starring Shu Qi and produced by Gordon Chan. Shu Qi plays dual roles as twin sisters obsessed with the same man (Shawn Yue). When one of the sisters goes missing, the identity of the remaining sibling is thrown into question.

filmoFilmography   Top

Feature Films:

Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
The Second Woman (Trailer) 情謎 2012
Producer The Drunkard (Trailer) 酒徒 2010
Director Naraka 19 (Trailer) 地獄19層 2007
The Third Eye 小心眼 2007
The Floating Landscape (Trailer) 戀之風景 2003
Glass Tears (Trailer) 玻璃少女 2001
Editor Among the Stars 惑星軌跡 2000
Production Manager After the Crescent 月未老 1997
Writer Her Judgement Day 剃刀情人 1993
Writer Heart Against Hearts 三人做世界 1992
Assistant director The Days of Being Dumb 咖喱辣椒II亞飛與亞基 1992
Assistant director Fruit Punch Yes 一族 1991


Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Director Father’s Toy 爸爸的玩具 1998

reviewReviews   Top

The Second Woman (2012):

Beyond Hollywood – The Second Woman (2012) Movie Review

Film Business Asia – The Second Woman

Love HK Film – The Second Woman

Tim Out Hong Kong – Shu Qi

Variety – Review: ‘The Second Woman’


The Drunkard (2010): 

Love HK Film – The Drunkard

Variety – Review: ‘The Drunkard’


Naraka 19 (2007):

Asian Movie Web – Naraka 19

Hong Kong Cinemagic – Naraka 19

Love HK Film – Naraka 19

movieXclusive – NARAKA 19: The 19th GATE OF HELL (HK)

The Spinning Image – Naraka 19


The Third Eye (2007):

HK Neo Reiviews – The Third Eye (2007-HK)

Love HK Film –  The Third Eye

movieXclusive – The Third Eye (HK)

The Floating Landscape (2003):

Far East Films – The Floating Landscape

Love HK Film – The Floating Landscape

Screen Daily – The Floating Landscape

So Good Reviews – The Floating Landscape (2003)

The Guardian – Hollywood Opts Out of Golden Lion Running

Variety – Review: ‘The Floating Landscape’

Glass Tears (2001):

Dvd Beaver – Glass Tears

Far East Film – Glass Tears

So Good Reviews – Glass Tears (2001)

Variety – Review: ‘Glass Tears’


linkLinks   Top

Cinemasie – Carol LAI Miu-suet

Hong Kong Cinemagic – CAROL LAI MIU SUET

Hong Kong Movie Database – Carol Lai Miu-Suet

IMDB – Miu-Suet Lai


biblioBibliography   Top

  1. Elley, Derek. “Glass Tears.” Variety May 28 – Jun 3 2001. Print.
  2. Hansen, Jeremy. “Hong Kong: Room for Arthouse in Mei Ah’s Empire.” Variety Oct 15 – Oct 21 2001. Print.
  3. Stokes, Lisa Odham. “Lai, Carol Miu-suet.” Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2007. 215-16. Print.