World Film Locations: Shanghai (Book)

Edited by John Berra and Wei Ju

World Film Locations: Shanghai celebrates Shanghai’s rich cinematic history, covering films from the 1930s to 2013. With essays that reflect the city’s relationship to film and scene reviews of iconic titles, this book shows the cosmopolitan glamour through locations steeped in cinematic exoticism while also probing the reality behind the image.


Celebrating Shanghai’s rich cinematic history, the films covered here represent a lengthy time period, from the first Golden Age of Chinese Cinema in the 1930s to the city’s status as an international production hub in 2013. Given the enduring status of Shanghai as the 'Paris of the East,' World Film Locations: Shanghai emphasizes the city’s cosmopolitan glamour through locations that are steeped in cinematic exoticism, while also probing the reality behind the image by investigating its backstreets and residential zones. To facilitate this study of Shanghai’s dual identity through reference to film locations, the book includes films from both the commercial and independent sectors, with a balance between images captured by local filmmakers and the visions of Western directors who have also utilized the city for their projects. With numerous essays that reflect Shanghai’s relationship to film and scene reviews of such iconic titles as Street Angel, Temptress Moon, Kung Fu Hustle, and Skyfall, World Film Locations: Shanghai is essential reading for all scholars of China’s urban culture.

John Berra is a lecturer in film and language studies at Tsinghua University and coeditor of World Film Locations: Beijing.

Wei Ju is a lecturer in film and television studies at Tongji University.


Scenes 1–8 – 1932–1947

Scenes 9–16 – 1984–2000

Scenes 17–24 – 2001–2005

Scenes 25–32 –2005–2007

Scenes 33–39 – 2007–2010

Scenes 40–46 – 2011–2013


Shanghai: City of the Imagination – Isabel Wolte

Republican Era Shanghai: Hollywood of the East – Donna Ong

Fists of Bruce Lee: Shanghai's Martial Arts Film Legacy – Paul Bowman

Lou Ye's Shanghai Cinema: Love and Loss in the Urban Labyrinth – John Berra

Sixth Generation Shanghai: Politicizing the Aesthetic – Dave McCaig

Sci-fi Shanghai: City of the Future – John Berra

The Great Divide: Depths and Peaks of Shanghai Life – Mariagrazia Constantino

'Using a combination of brief scene analysis, city maps and insightful essays, Intellect's World Film Locations: Shanghai provides an illustrated tour through Shanghai's streets and its complex history.' 

Patrick Gamble, CineVue

'World Film Locations: Shanghai (2014) is a reader-friendly introduction offering detailed maps and screenshots of significant moments from the Chinese cinema of Shanghai. [...] Almost all the writers appear to have spent time living or working in Shanghai; many of them are photographers, directors, or film scholars who have had experience in filmmaking or studying cinema at an advanced level. In this way, the book seeks to ensure that the content has been created by cinema insiders who are in a position to offer their informed commentary. [...] Will have an appeal to film aficionados.'

Nanna Sophie Zheng, Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context
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