Lust, Caution is a film by Ang Lee set in Japanese-occupied China during this period of cultural transformation, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in broadening their knowledge of the Forties. Often, the Eastern Fronts are overlooked in cinema (and similarly, the class I took at university focused on the European Front – thus I cannot personally vouch for the movie's accuracy in any way) so seeing another perspective like this is extremely refreshing. The film's plot revolves around a group of students involved with the resistance against the collaborationist Chinese government, and a particular female agent's attempts to seduce and take down a high ranking official. I feel I should issue a disclaimer here - it does get plenty racy, and there is some sexual violence, so if the thought seeing such things offends you may want to skip this one. It didn't get its R18+ rating for nothing. That said, it is a quietly beautiful, slow burning film and one I rather enjoyed. Not to mention the beautiful outfits! Just to give you a taste:
If you look closely, you can see seams!
It also has me seriously lusting over a mahjong bracelet like this one:
Found here on Etsy. Hint hint, Santa Claus!
Not to mention this gorgeous ring:
It's vintage Cartier! Discovered in a vault in Paris, director Ang Lee had the 6.1 carat pink diamond shipped to Shanghai specifically for the film. Isn't it gorgeous? (I also noticed that Mak Tai Tai has matched her lipstick to her nails here - something I must remember to do more often.)
The film has also inspired me to make up my overall pattern in a deep emerald cord - I don't have any pictures of this outfit, but I can assure you the colour looked gorgeous over cream blouses. I miss winter even more now!
If anyone can recommend any other films set in the 40s that feature the Eastern nations - including Russia, China and Japan - please, let me know of them in a comment! Suggestions are always much appreciated.