Restored: Floating Life (1996)

  • October 29, 2021 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM | Friday
  • Oldham Theatre
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Celebrating the classics of Asian cinema and beyond, Restored is a regular series showcasing Asian films that have been meticulously preserved and restored by different institutions from across the world. The platform revisits these classics in a new light and allows them to be appreciated by new generations of audiences.

This November, screening for the first time in Singapore is Clara Law’s Floating Lifenewly-restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.  Succinctly documenting the phenomena of emigration that engulfed Hong Kong before the transfer of its sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997, Floating Life captures the experiences of displacement through a poignant and charming portrait of the Chan family dispersed across Germany, Hong Kong, and Australia.


Directed by: Clara Law
Runtime: 97 minutes
Country: Australia
Language: Cantonese, English, German with subtitles
Rating: R21 (Sexual Scenes)


Locarno Film Festival 1996

Full Synopsis

It is 1996. As the fate of Hong Kong hangs precariously, the Chan family struggles to find a new place to call home. Mr. and Mrs. Chan, along with their two teenage sons move to a suburb in Australia to join their second daughter, Bing. Bing’s older sister Yen, who lives in Germany with her German husband and daughter, decides to move to Australia to join them. Meanwhile, back in Hong Kong, their elder brother Gar Ming, who has a lucrative job and a relationship with a young Canadian-Chinese woman, is reluctant to follow his parents.

As the first Australian film to examine the Chinese diasporic experience, Clara Law weaves an unprecedented story of transnational migration and the tensions that emerge within this constellation—between young and old, the city and suburbs, and past and present.

Restoration Notes

Released in 1996, the original print negative was scanned to 4K international archival preservation standards. The scans were sent to Spectrum Films at Fox Studios in Sydney, where the visuals were cleaned, automatically and then manually, and fully restored by their expert colourist.

The restoration process was consulted with the film’s key creatives wherever possible, including producer Bridget Ikin and Academy Award-winning cinematographer, Dion Beebe, to obtain advice on colour and contrast.

The subtitling files were redone by the NFSA graphic designer to closely match the original font that was used in Australian films in the 1990s, but is no longer available.

Audio restoration was completed in-house by the NFSA, including cleaning and elimination of any pops or clicks, and then digitally laid onto the final file by Spectrum Films. Once the digitally restored file was quality controlled, a 2K DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and subsequent HD file were rendered and tested on a cinema screen.

All materials resulting from this digital restoration are now part of the NFSA collection, where they are preserved for future generations.

About the Director

Regarded as a key figure in Hong Kong cinema’s second wave of the 1980s, Clara Law’s substantial body of work as a director and writer include twenty feature films spanning three decades. Starting with her graduation film at the National Film and Television School, United Kingdom, They Say the Moon is Fuller Here (1985), Law’s filmic narratives have explored pan-Asian interconnections and reconfigurations of sexual and cultural identity. Her films such as Autumn Moon (1992), Farewell China (1990) and Temptation of a Monk (1993) have received critical acclaim. 


Friday, 29 October 2021, 8pm
Wednesday, 10 November 2021, 8pm
Sunday, 21 November 2021, 2pm

Oldham Theatre’s opening hours

Tickets go on sale Monday, 18 October 2021.

Friends of AFA members may select the “Friends of AFA” option and enter your membership number if you wish to redeem your remaining complimentary tickets.

For further assistance, please contact us at 

Important Notice:
Do note that Oldham Theatre does not play ads and screenings will start promptly. Arrive early so as not to disrupt the screenings. All patrons are encouraged to purchase your tickets online to be able to secure a seat. Seats are limited due to social distancing regulations. If you choose to purchase tickets or merchandise at Oldham Theatre’s box office, cashless payment is preferred.
Measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety of all patrons at Oldham Theatre. This includes wearing a mask at all times for both staff and patrons, TraceTogether logging and observance of social distancing around the theatre. Doors will open 20 minutes before showtime, so arrive early to register and find a seat.

Concession tickets apply to Students (Local & Overseas), Full-time National Servicemen (NSF), Senior Citizens (55 years and above) only.
Please check film ratings before purchase of tickets. Please note that you may be asked to present your ID at the door (this applies to concession tickets as well). Only physical photographic identification is allowed, digital copies of identification are not allowed. AFA reserves the right to turn away any members of the public without physical photographic identification.
Upon confirmation of your order for Tickets, no exchange of Tickets will be made under any circumstances and Tickets are not transferable. No refund on Tickets will be made under any circumstances except due to cancellation of the event. The resale of Tickets at any price is prohibited.