I must admit, Shanghai has never really appealed to me. I live in one of Asia's megacities, Seoul. I'm used to the incredible pace of life and constant chaos. But Shanghai always seemed like that little bit too much. That was, until I saw JT Singh's "Shanghai Forever." Watching it has given me an acute desire to visit the nooks and crannies of this giant metropolis.
This fast-paced short film whips its way around Shanghai at a speed only the locals can keep up with, slowing down just long enough to introduce us to the individuals that make up the city's life-blood. As China's most populous city, Shanghai holds a wealth of culture at the bases of its 4,000 skyscrapers and in its narrow alleys. Singh gives us a tour of the city that makes us forget for a moment that high above rises a modern-world city.
Expert editing and clever transitions introduce us to all walks of life and leave us with a desire to visit Shanghai for the human stories it holds. Channeling his inner Wong Kar Wai, Singh takes us through keyholes and doorways from the modern metropolis to streets of the old city. Through his eyes we get to see a side of the city not often shown in the media, its vibrant day-to-day life and human stories. He takes us deep into the city's beating heart and leaves us wanting more.
When you're done with Shanghai Forever, check out the other shorts on Singh's Vimeo page. Of particular interest is his look into North Korea, yet another very different look at a society closed off from the world.