Searching for old Shanghai
By Anthony Bourdain, CNN
Here we go again! A shiny, new season of "Parts Unknown." The end result of many months on the road, the fruits of the combined efforts of our hard working band of constantly in motion cinephiles. So many amazing landscapes have whipped past us on our way from here to there. So many great meals. So many appalling bathrooms.
As always, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we can do differently, how far we can push it—what stories can we tell that we haven't told before.
You might notice in the premier episode set in Shanghai, that I am, from time to time, wearing a colored pocket square or foulard. This is not, as a matter of course, normal for me. But there is a method to my madness. These tiny notes of color are our first venture into actual production design—a calculated effort to give the episode a specific "look."
I have long been besotted with the works of Chinese director Wong Kar Wai—and his frequent cinematographer, Christopher Doyle. His films, "In the Mood for Love" and "Chungking Express" in particular, are gorgeous meditations on longing and desire and missed connections.
They are spectacularly shot—and a while back, I noticed how tiny elements of color in the foreground of the frames are often connected to similar colors in the background—giving scenes a lush, unified atmosphere that feels natural and un-designed.