Shanghai’s colonial waterfront, with its mix of art deco, gothic and neoclassical architecture, was largely built in the early 20th century by the foreign firms that had made it their home. These days, the combination of decadent buildings, rushing traffic, masses of pedestrians and a wonderful view over the Huangpu River to Lujiazui make it a unique location. Steven Spielberg shot here for “The Empire of the Sun.”
Shanghai’s commercial district, across the river from the Bund, is a vision of the future. The tallest building in China, the Gothamesque Jinmao Tower, is here, as is the love it/hate it TV Tower. Both have featured in dozens of pics. The China Mobile Tower, which was used in “Mission: Impossible III,” has the best views of this area.
Take apart two blocks of decrepit Shanghai Shikumen lane houses. Rebuild them brick by brick, spicing them up with a spot of modern design flair. Rebrand them as boutiques, expensive restaurants and nightclubs. Add thousands of shoppers. And stir. Shanghai’s latest hot spot, already popular with locals and visitors alike, is starting to register with filmmakers for its unique blend of the old and the new.
The massive Shanghai Film Studio-owned back lot at Chedun leads a double existence as a film production base and a theme park. With its vast array of buildings of many styles, including a replica of Shanghai’s Nanjing Road as it was in the 1930s (featuring working trams), the facility has starred in hundreds of local pics and several overseas shoots including “The Great Raid” and “The Painted Veil.”
Ultramodern terminal is a perfect fit for films looking for a futuristic entrance into the city. Michael Winterbottom used it extensively in “Code 46.”