Tarry for the Nonce

November 21, 2005

芸妓, げいぎ

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 1:35 pm

I am curious about Memoirs of a Geisha. I know nothing about the story, other than the fact that the Japanese might find it offensive for various reasons:

The filmmakers have made the characters crasser, they ignore nuances within geisha tradition and give characters attitudes and dialogue highly unlikely for Depression-era Japan. The heroine, who in time becomes a legendary geisha, is modeled in the film more after a willful, modern American teen than a young Japanese woman . . .

The novel reportedly has been translated into 32 languages and the film production criticized for the casting of three leading Chinese actors — Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li — as Japanese . . .

The controversy extends beyond the cast, which is a case of a major (Japanese-owned) studio covering an expensive bet with international stars. Here is a film about Japan made by Americans, shot mostly in the U.S. and, of course, in English.

Still, the idea fascinates me.


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