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''Flowers of Shanghai'' (上海花) is a Taiwanese movie directed by Creator/HouHsiaoHsien (who later made ''ThreeTimes'') and released in 1998. Adapted from a Chinese novel from the turn of the 20th century, it focuses on the lives of several "flowers" (i.e. [[HighClassCallGirl high-class courtesans]]) in the brothels of UsefulNotes/{{Shanghai}} in the late 19th century.

The movie is mostly non-narrative, consisting of a series of tableaus, with most of what little action takes place remaining off-screen. Similarly, while a fair bit of talking is done, the really important things are never spoken out loud.

The male patrons come to the flower houses for a good time, which involves eating, drinking, being pampered by attentionate courtesans, and of course sex. The girls, meanwhile, vie for their attention, and either attempt to become a given client's favorite in order to be taken up as a second wife, or save money to buy up their own contract. The world they all live in is one of illusion and manipulation.

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!!Features examples of:

* BandOfBrothels: The courtesans.
* ChineseDialectsAndAccents: The characters speak in the local Shanghai dialect rather than standard Mandarin.
* FadeToBlack: Every scene systematically ends that way.
* GorgeousPeriodDress
* HighClassCallGirl: The "flowers" aren't common prostitutes, but expensive courtesans catering to an exclusive clientele of rich and well-connected men.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Averted. The courtesans are calculating and manipulative, and those who believe in "true love" are chastised by their peers for their gullibility.

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