Browse Archive


photo © Flying Moon Filmproduktion GmbH/Rick Liston 2011

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2011

Documentary filmmaker Uli Gaulke traveled to the 20 million metropolis of Shanghai this summer to shoot his latest film AS TIME GOES BY IN SHANGHAI about a jazz combo with an average age of 77, which has been playing every evening for more than 30 years in one of Shanghai’s swishest addresses, the Peace Hotel.

In the film, Gaulke charts the fascinating life stories of the six extraordinary musicians: from Shanghai’s bustling jazz scene of the 1930s through the Japanese occupation and the Communists‘ Cultural Revolution and planned economy to China’s present day turbo-capitalism. With humor, wisdom and a tale or two being spun on the way, the veterans in black suits will lead the audience on a tour of their everyday lives in one of the world’s most modern cities and show how good old jazz has given them the strength to weather the storms of time.

In addition, the film accompanies the gentlemen on their biggest adventure yet – making the preparations and then traveling to Europe to appear at the leading North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam.

AS TIME GOES BY IN SHANGHAI marks the director’s fifth collaboration with Flying Moon Filmproduktion after such films as PINK TAXI, COMRADES IN DREAMS, and the award-winning HAVANNA MI AMOR.

Speaking about the work on his new film, Gaulke recalls that he took lessons in jazz trumpet and played in the Bolschewistische Kurkapelle for a while before turning to filmmaking: “What stayed with me was the memory that, as musician, you had the freedom to do whatever you want, were always in good spirits and could live life to the fullest through an energy which you entrusted vociferously to your instrument and thus to the world out there.”

“When I shot my first short in Cuba about a patient’s band in a hospital in Havana, the first thing I did was to take my trumpet and play boleros with the patients as best as I could,” he continues. “And now, a few weeks ago, during my research trip in Shanghai, it happened again. Someone put the instrument in my hand and I belt out a few improvisations. The old men in their dark suits appeared to be satisfied. Immediately, a trust and closeness was established because they knew that a musician’s heart was beating here in the breast of their counterpart.”

Genre Music
Category Documentary
Director Uli Gaulke
Screenplay Uli Gaulke
Cinematography Jörg Jeshel
Producer Helge Albers
Production Company Flying Moon Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with WDR
Shooting Dates June-July 2011
Festivals Shanghai 2013, IDFA 2013, Planete Doc 2014
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds

Flying Moon Filmproduktion GmbH
Seestrasse 96
13353 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-3 22 97 18 0
fax +49-30-3 22 97 18 11