Flowers of Shanghai (1998)

  • Revivals
  • 1h 53m
  • Taiwan

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An NYFF regular from relatively early in his career, Hou Hsiao-hsien made his seventh festival appearance with this ravishingly beautiful chamber drama that follows the intertwined fortunes and intrigues of four “flower girls” serving in the opulent brothels of fin-de-siècle 19th-century Shanghai. The great Tony Leung stars as the melancholy Master Wang, torn between his affections for the jealous, demanding Crimson (Michiko Hada) and the more eager-to-please Jasmin (Vicky Wei), and gradually realizing that he is looking for love in all the wrong places. Hou’s first film set outside his native Taiwan, Flowers of Shanghai is a transfixing masterwork and an achingly, intoxicatingly sensuous landmark of ’90s world cinema. A Janus Films release. Restored in 4K in 2019 from the 35mm original negative by Shochiku in collaboration with the Shanghai International Film Festival at the L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. With funding provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Director

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Languages

Cantonese, Shanghainese

Subtitles

English

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