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Flowers of Shanghai 海上花 (1998) (DVD) (The Criterion Collection) (English Subtitled) (US Version)

Flowers of Shanghai 海上花 (1998) (DVD) (The Criterion Collection) (English Subtitled) (US Version)

$63.00 $90.00

DVD - Region 1 - English Subtitles 

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s ravishing chamber drama traces the fortunes of courtesans in 19th-century Shanghai flower houses

An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, this gorgeous period reverie by Hou Hsiao-hsien traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around four late-nineteenth-century Shanghai “flower houses,” where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor but 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 languorous 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.

Special Edition Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer
  • New introduction by critic Tony Rayns
  • A new documentary on the making of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews
  • Excerpts from a 2015 interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • And more

Description

An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, this gorgeous period reverie by Hou Hsiao-hsien traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around four late-nineteenth-century Shanghai “flower houses,” where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor but 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 languorous 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. • New introduction by critic Tony Rayns • Beautified Realism, a new documentary by Daniel Raim and Eugene Suen on the making of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Lee, producer and editor Liao Ching-sung, production designer Hwarng Wern-ying, and sound recordist Tu Duu-chih • Excerpts from a 2015 interview with Hou, recorded as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oral History Projects • Trailer • English subtitle translation by Rayns • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Jean Ma and a 2009 interview with Hou conducted by scholar Michael Berry

 

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