May 31st, 2020

Shanghai Dancing (1926)

There is this famous image of a Shanghai dance café in the 1920s:

This morning, as I was having my morning coffee and reading my fresh issue of The China Press (from June 1926, naturally), I learned that this is actually a promotional still from the movie The Rich Man's Daughter 富人之女 (1926), produced by the Star Motion Picture Co. The shot is credited to the Shanghai photographer Wei Fong. The strong lighting filling every shadow and the dancers' sharp outlines should have been a clue.