The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Flowers of Shanghai

Flowers of Shanghai

November 27th – December 24th

Janus Films presents a brand new 4K Restoration of Hou Hsiaou-hsien’s 1998 Flowers of Shanghai!

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. 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 procession of entrancing long takes, Flowers 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.

Restored in 4K from the 35mm original negative in 2019 by Shochiku in collaboration with Shanghai International Film Festival with funding provided by Jaeger-LeCoultreat L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.

Link to purchase tickets to stream this film in our Virtual Cinema will be available on Friday, November 27th (Thursday at Midnight) until Thursday, December 24th. To purchase and stream, click the button below!

Directed by Hou Hsiaou-hsien | 1998 | 113 minutes | Not Rated | Taiwan, Japan | Cantonese with English Subtitles

A portion of every ticket purchased directly supports The Frida Cinema, Orange County’s only non-profit indie cinema.


“An emotionally shattering masterpiece … Flowers of Shanghai is one of the most sublimely beautiful films I’ve ever seen.” – Manohla Dargis, LA Weekly

“One of the cinematic highpoints of the ’90s.” – Phillip Lopate, The New York Times