Hong Kong filmmaker Alex Law, who wrote 'The Soong Sisters' screenplay, dies at 69


Alex Law with the Best Screenplay trophy for 'Echoes Of The Rainbow' at the Hong Kong Film Awards on April 18, 2010. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong writer, director and producer Alex Law, known for movies such as Echoes Of The Rainbow (2010), The Soong Sisters (1997) and An Autumn's Tale (1987), died last Saturday (July 2). He was 69.

One of Hong Kong's most accomplished filmmakers, Law died in hospital with his long-time life partner and collaborator Mabel Cheung, also one of the leading figures of Hong Kong cinema, by his side. The cause of death was not disclosed.

The Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild released a statement confirming the death of Law, who previously served as the organisation's vice-chairman.

Law and Cheung, 71, often swapped roles in order to support each other's filmmaking efforts.

He took directing credits while she was the producer on the award-winning Echoes Of The Rainbow, a nostalgic look at 1960s Hong Kong largely based on his childhood.

He was the writer and producer of Cheung's best-known film, The Soong Sisters, which told the story of the Soong sisters, played by Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh and Vivian Wu.

He served as writer of the Cheung-directed An Autumn's Tale, while they switched roles in 1988's Painted Faces, when he took over directing duties while Cheung wrote the biopic of Peking Opera legend Master Yu.

Born in Hong Kong in 1952, Law graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1976 with a degree in Chinese and English studies and comparative literature.

He met Cheung while studying for a master's degree in New York and the pair became known for their collaboration on what is known as the "Migration Trilogy".

In the three films – Illegal Immigrant (1985), An Autumn's Tale (1987) and Eight Taels Of Gold (1989) – they put the spotlight on the Chinese diaspora.

Speaking to South China Morning Post, Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, Hong Kong's Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, said: "Alex had been contributing a lot to the local film industry and created a lot of classic popular films which are full of cultural ambience." – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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