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Flowers of Shanghai (1998)

Hai shang hua (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 17 October 1998 (Japan)
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1:35 | Trailer

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In Shanghai in the 1880s there are four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (called madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The ... See full summary »

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(translation), | 1 more credit »
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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Wang
Michiko Hada ...
Crimson
Michelle Reis ...
...
Jack Kao ...
Luo
Rebecca Pan ...
Huang
Vicky Wei ...
Jasmin
Hsuan Fang ...
Jade
Annie Shizuka Inoh ...
Golden Flower
Ming Hsu ...
Tao
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Josephine A. Blankstein ...
(as An-an Hsu)
Shui Chit Cheung
Hui-ni Hsu ...
Shu-Fang's sister
Firebird Liu
Moon Wang ...
(as Yue Wang)
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Storyline

In Shanghai in the 1880s there are four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (called madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The men gather around tables of food, playing drinking games. An opium pipe is at hand. The women live within dark-paneled walls. The atmosphere is stifling, as if Chekhov was in China. The melancholy Wang is Crimson's patron; will he leave her for the younger Jasmin? Emerald schemes to buy her freedom, aided by patron Luo. Pearl, an aging flower, schools the willful Jade, who thinks she has a marriage agreement with young master Zhu. Is she dreaming? Women fade, or connive, or despair. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

17 October 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Flowers of Shanghai  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film consists of 38 long shots. See more »

Connections

Featured in I Wish I Knew (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Tableau, semi-vivant
23 August 2000 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

The Taiwanese writer-director Hou Hsiao-hsien is regarded by many as the greatest living filmmaker, and FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI is widely considered one of the strongest contemporary movies. Hou's approach is both anthropological and highly formalized: this examination of the economics and Machiavellian power politics of a Shanghai brothel in the mid-1800's stays remote. The feeling is sometimes that of a news crew eager not to intrude, but the mise-en-scene evokes the mastery of space-carving in Kurosawa's HIGH AND LOW or Bresson's UNE FEMME DOUCE. Shot in wide, mobile masters that go on for four or five minutes at a stretch, FLOWERS is theatrical in the extreme, and, as in a Yuan drama or a Kun opera, Hou stays at a more than respectful reserve from his characters. For some, this spells high-art elegance; others may feel starved for vividness and human immediacy, and wish the film to end far sooner than it does.


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