Flowers of Shanghai海上花
Today, I will introduce a Chinese film which called Flowers of Shanghai (海上花hǎi shàng huā). So let us have a brief introduction.
Flowers of Shanghai is a 1998 film, made in Taiwan, directed by Guangdong-born Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝贤Hóu Xiàoxián) starring Hada Michiko (羽田yǔ tián), Annie Shizuka Inoh (伊能静Yī Néngjìng), Shuan Fang, Jack Kao (高捷Gāo Jié), Carina Lau (刘嘉玲Liú Jiālíng), Tony Leung (梁朝伟Liáng Cháowěi), Rebecca Pan (潘迪华Pān Díhuá), Michelle Reis (李嘉欣Lǐ Jiāxīn) and Vicky Wei (魏筱惠Wèi Xiǎohuì). It was voted the third best film of the 1990s in the 1999 Village Voice Film Poll.
In four elegant brothels, called "Flower Houses", in fin-de-siècle 19th-century Shanghai (Qing dynasty), several affairs are described. The action involves four drunkards, and takes place mostly in candlelight. Preparation and consumption of opium and tea are at the center of the business operations.
Subtitles note that the girl Crimson is in Huifang, Pearl is in Gongyang, Emerald is in Shangren, and Jasmine is in East Hexing. The relations of the rich gentlemen with the courtesans is partly monogamous and is held to an obligation of many years. The life of the graceful, well-bred girls, who were young when bought, resembles in certain respects a life of slavery. Because of the oppressing social conventions, they dream to pay off their debts, or to marry into the freedom and higher conditions.
This is a very fabulous film.