The director of the movie Hou Hsiao-hsein is an award winning director and one of the leading contributors to the new wave cinema movement in Taiwan. He has been regarded among the best movie directors of 1990s on creating master piece like Flowers of Shanghai. Some movie critics called it an innovative and prettiest movie however, at the same time the movie also invited waves of criticism and it was also expressed by some movie critics that it was a static, dull and boring movie that does not truly deserves to be listed among the top ten best movie of 1990s. Flowers of Shanghai is widely appraised and viewed as finely blended presentation of artistry, beauty, restrain and patience through its major characters. The plot of the story revolves around four prostitutes living in a Shanghai brothel. The movie depicts the power struggle of prostitutes called flower girls, gentlemen callers and the powerful Auntie who run the show for the prostitutes. The flower girls always look for the favour from the auntie that she will give them the richest customers and will send more customers to them. Though the movie is filmed in a brothel but there are no sex scenes in the movie. The girls are shown feeding the men and serving them opium and in exchange they were looking for someone to pay their debts and arrange livelihood for them. When the men show their willingness to marry any girl, the auntie plays the role of merchandiser and books them. It is more focused upon the problems and the efforts of the girls to get out of the problem rather depicting the sex scenes. The plot of the movie is set in the time of late nineteenth century where Shanghai was divided in to several foreign concessions and there are several luxurious flower houses created in the British concession that were meant for the make elite of the city. These brothels were not for the common Chinese people but only the elites for whom they were established could visit at these flower houses. These brothels have their own self-contained world and people use their own language. The visitors came here not only for satisfying the sexual desires but also to dine, smoke opium and to relax their mind with different games. The women working at these brothels were given the name of flowers of shanghai and the movie flower of shanghai is mainly based upon the inner lives of these brothels and the flowers of Shanghai working there. The movie uses single stain of music that is repeated over and over. The repetition is an attempt to convey the message that is real life also same incidents occur again and again only the faces of the players are changed but the game remain the same no matter who win and loss. The movie sets the scene of Shanghai, the capital city of China however, it was not filmed in China but it is the proficiency of the director that he selected the set in such a way that the entire film is shot indoor and not even a single shot of sky or outdoor is included in the movie (Reichert, 2003). The director has close connections with China that could be seen in the movie as well. The way he set up the scene of China outside the country shows his strong imaginations and affiliations with the Chinese environment and culture. There are several cinematic techniques used in the movie that add depth and meaningfulness to the story and at the same time it is
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Representation of China is Flowers of Shanghai [Author] [Institution] Flowers of Shanghai is a movie directed by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsein. The story of the movie is based upon a novel penned by Han Zuyin. The film was released in 1998 and became so popular that it was voted as the third best film of the decade in the Village Voice Film Poll conducted in 1999…
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