Shanghai Restoration Project is an electronic group whose latest 12-track album, Pictures in Motion, features tributes to classic Hollywood films set in Shanghai. The “mostly original compositions” were “each inspired by a different movie from the era,” according to the description on the above video.
In the early 1900s, Hollywood was enamored with Shanghai. Cinema legends ranging from Charlie Chaplin (Shanghaied 1915) to Alfred Hitchcock (East of Shanghai 1932) to Orson Welles (Lady from Shanghai 1948) all found themselves inspired by the cosmopolitan Chinese city at some point during this period. In 1932, Josef von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express even made its way to the Oscar stage, winning the award for Best Cinematography. Despite this industry-wide fascination with Shanghai, many Western filmmakers still viewed the city through a narrow exoticed lens. In fact, the city itself hardly appeared in any of the films while cultural differences between the East and West were often grossly exaggerated on Hollywood sound stages.
This video is a compilation, featuring clips from these movies:
Uproar in Heaven – 大闹天宫 (1964)
Diary of the Homecoming – 还乡日记 (1947)
The Highway – 大路 (1934)
Dream of the Red Mansions – 红楼梦 (1944)
Greedy Neighbors – 恶邻 (1933)
Song at Midnight – 夜半歌聲 (1937)
Spring in a Small Town – 小城之春 (1948)
Princess Iron Fan – 铁扇公主 (1941)
Queen of Sports – 体育皇后 (1934)
The Conceited General – 骄傲的将军 (1956)
The Goddess – 神女 (1934)
(H/T Marshall Wang)