Flowers of Shanghai
Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien Run Time: 113 min. Release Year: 1998 Language: Chinese
Starring: Carina Lau, Jack Kao, Michelle Reis, Michiko Hada, Tony Leung Chiu-wai
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.
“[An] emotionally shattering masterpiece… FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI is one of the most sublimely beautiful films I’ve ever seen, and one of the most unbearably sad.” – Manohla Dargis, LA Weekly