Expired February 5, 2021 4:59 AM
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An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s gorgeous period reverie traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around a late 19th century Shanghai brothel, where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor yet forced to work to buy back their freedom. Among the regular clients is the taciturn Master Wang (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), whose relationship with his longtime mistress (Michiko Hada) is roiled by a perceived act of betrayal. Composed in a procession of entrancing long takes, Flowers of Shanghai evokes a vanished world of decadence and cruelty, an insular universe where much of the dramatic action remains tantalizingly offscreen—even as its emotional fallout registers with quiet devastation.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    113 minutes
  • Language
    Shanghainese, Cantonese
  • Country
  • Director
    Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • Screenwriter
    Chu Tʽien-wen
  • Producer
    Shozo Ichiyama
  • Executive Producer
    Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • Cast
    Tony Leung, Carina Lau, Michelle Reis
  • Cinematographer
    Mark Lee Ping Bing
  • Editor
    Ching-Sung Liao
  • Production Design
    Wen-Ying Huang