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‘Blossoms Shanghai’ First Footage: Wong Kar-Wai’s Upcoming TV Series Promises a Stunning Epic

Though without English subtitles, this first trailer for Wong's ode to Shanghai has plenty of the director's visual panache.

Blossoms Shanghai

“Blossoms Shanghai”

Jet Tone Films

A first trailer for Wong Kar-Wai’s upcoming dramatic series “Blossoms Shanghai” emerged on the internet this weekend. While it lacks English subtitles, the first footage from this sweeping ode to Shanghai has plenty of the Hong Kong director’s visual panache. Watch below.

Written by award-winning Shanghainese screenwriter Qin Wen, with visuals from Academy Award-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” cinematographer Peter Pau, the series, according to the official synopsis, “tells the story of an enigmatic, self-made millionaire, Mr. Bao (Hu Ge), and his journey of reinvention from a young opportunist with a troubled past to the heights of the gilded city of Shanghai. Set against the backdrop of massive economic growth in 1990s Shanghai, the series unveils the glamour that follows his dazzling wealth and his entanglement with four fabulous women that represent the pursuits of his life: adventure, honor, love and innocence.”

The series is set to debut in 2022 internationally, though a U.S. distributor has yet to be announced. Created, directed, and produced by Wong, “Blossoms Shanghai” offers an homage to the “In the Mood for Love” director’s birthplace at the most intriguing moments in its recent history. This is Wong’s first time behind the camera since the 2013 film “The Grandmaster.”

The trailer gives a glimpse of Peter Pau’s elegant cinematography and of Wong’s idiosyncratic music choices, as this footage features “The Twist” by Chubby Checker.

Series star Hu Ge is known for his turns in the hit series “Nirvana in Fire,” which made him an icon in China, and 2019’s neo-noir “The Wild Goose Lake,” a 2019 Cannes Film Festival competition entry that earned acclaim during its stateside release earlier this year.

Filmed entirely in Shanghai, “Blossoms Shanghai” is a production of Jet Tone (Xiangshan). Tencent Penguin Pictures has acquired the rights for China. Block 2 Distribution is handling international sales.

In celebration of the recent release of a Criterion box set commemorating Wong’s filmography, IndieWire spoke to the director in a wide-ranging email discussion. Asked if he’s concerned about the future of film, Wong said, “I’m tired of all this ‘cinema is dead’ shit. People enjoy watching movies, period. What makes them hesitant are the risks (under COVID) and the costs of watching films in cinemas today. For people who really care about the future of cinema, I suggest they go buy a ticket to support their local cinemas when they reopen, because many of them are barely surviving. Or at least keep positive.”

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