The Goddess Of 1967

The title of Clara Law’s oddball Australian feature refers to the vintage, salmon-colored Citroien DS driven cross-country by a young Tokyo snake collector and a blind young woman towards its original owner, an insane and abusive grandfather. I found the plot of this film, including its scattershot time structure and its ambivalent take on countercultural attitudes, both difficult to follow and needlessly pretentious, but Dion Beebe’s cinematography is so breathtakingly beautifulcin terms of lighting and splashy colors, spacious outback skyscapes as well as solarized impressions of Tokyothat I never came close to losing interest. Rose Byrne as the blind girl won the best actress prize in venice, but I’m not sure why. Much worthier of attention is the loony script by Law and her cowriter Eddie L.C. Fong (another Hong Kong emigre), who also worked together with Beebe on Floating Life, and Law’s highly inventive ways of putting this eclectic film together. The Citroen DS, inclidentally, is the subject of an essay in Roland Barthes’s Mythologies, a book acknowledged in the closing credits. (JR)

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