I have a real curiosity, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an obsession, about Shanghai circa 1930. Recently, I watched Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, a heavy duty film, and the set was an amazing dipiction of a long lost mix of Chinese and French mise en scene in Shanghai.
I followed this up with Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love, and 2046. I have yet to watch the first of this accidental trilogy, Days of Being Wild. These are all Hong Kong in the 60s. The women are stunning (and include Maggie Cheung, Li Gong and Ziyi Zhang) and tend to overshadow the subdued main character, Chow Mo-wan played by Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (who plays the seemingly confused and brutal Mr Lee in Lust, Caution also). Again the sets are amazing and the soundtrack is superb. If only I had a time machine. All of these film reminded me of Henry and June, which has amazing art direction.