MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

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MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:31 am

lngrid:

I just saw Memoirs of a Geisha and I had a mixed reaction.

Things I liked:
*Ken Watanabe.
*The movie's faithfullness to the early part of the story. The girls' cries at being separated from their families and each other made me cry!
*Ken Watanabe.
*Suzuka Ohgo as Chiyo.
*Ken Watanabe.
*Whoever it was who played Hatsumomo's lover.
*Ken Watanabe.
*The way the movie showed the difference between Chiyo's dream of what geisha means and the reality Sayuri experienced.
*Ken Watanabe!
*The scene where mother looks sympathetically at Chiyo when when Chiyo is given news of her parents' death.
*Ken Watanabe!
*Ending the movie with The Chairman becoming Sayuri's danna. Everything following that in the book is unnecessary in the movie.
*Ken Watanabe!

Things I wish had been done better/differently:
*I wish actresses had been picked that portrayed a more traditional standard of Japanese beauty. I was disappointed the way Hatsumomo and Mameha looked. The strong angles of their faces seemed to reflect a more modern standard of beauty and just didn't look right on geisha from before WWII.

*I wish we had seen Hatsumomo less often with her hair down. They could have shown her slovenliness by having her wig snarled and mussed. That way the shot of Hatsumomo, thrown out in the street with "her hair hanging down her back," would have had the punch it was supposed to have.

*I was disappointed by the way the Miyako Odori was shot. Shooting from among the suspended silk petals was distracting and, in at least one shot, glare was allowed to obscure part of the image. Maybe this was intended to convey the hidden nature of the geisha world, but that could have been done much better by the actors and director.

*I was also disappointed by Sayuri's big dance. Don't get me wrong: it WAS very exciting and thrilling. But the way I understand it, dance in Kyoto, and especially in Gion Kobu, is much more sophisticated than dance in other parts of Japan. The emotions expressed are just as passionate as elsewhere, but the body language is much more refined. I was really looking forward to seeing this represented here. Le sigh. Somehow, I'm not sure that backbends are part of traditional dance in Gion Kobu, but I don't really know...

*I wish Hatsumomo's decline and downfall had been more faithful to the book. This memoir's central theme is the social dynamic of a female-dominated enclave surviving in male-dominated world. Sayuri finds her way through it like a stream of water and Hatsumomo is demented by it. My biggest disappointment was that they compeletely left out the scene where Hatsumomo goes nuts and shames the okiya. I would have sat through a longer movie to have seen her insanity flaring out from under the controlled coiffure, makeup and kimono of a respected geisha. And yes, that shot of seeing her for the first time with "her hair down her back..." Big Sigh.

The big finale
It seems to me the movie had the chance give the outside world glimpses of the Flower and Willow world and also to contrast warfare among women to warfare among men. I feel like it did a reasonable job with the first task, but it could have done so much better with the second. That would have made it the sort of movie that grabs anyone and makes them ponder it for days after they leave the theater.

Thanks for reading all this. I had to get it off my chest. But I'd really like to hear what you think of the movie. I bet there are lots of good thoughts out there.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:33 am

kanzashi-san:

hi ! long time no see!!

i was even more let down than i was expecting to be

the only real nihongami that was done properly was for pumpkin on her debut (not even for the main character), but u dont see it for any more than 5 seconds...
there were some pretty kimono in the movie, though, not very geisha-ish
and dont get me started on those jo-anne fabrics silk flower kanzashi...
i mean, honestly, would it be THAT expensive to buy ONE kyo-tsumami kanzashi (on a hollywood budget) at least for sayuri?

...humph...

nice to see you all again

john

and o yeah, is all that fan spinning actually part of nihonbuyou repitoire/technique ? looks like it would hurt the fans binding or wrinkle the washi...

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:34 am

lngrid:

Thank you for the warm, gracious welcomes. Thank you so much for bringing back the forums!

I'm so glad my original post didn't come off trollish. Please don't let my opinons put anyone off of seeing the movie. There is a lot in it that's good. Li Gong, Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh are very good actresses. They've mastered the art of acting through the expression of their eyes alone, which is a great accomplishment for an actor.

However, this film did seem americanized to me too, Yuna-chan. As an American, I find this embarassing. I assume its going to be shown overseas and my toes curl to think of it being shown in Japan.

Suzuka Ohgo was darling. I kept wanting to kiss her cheeks and buy her sweet ice myself. She, too, is a good actress.

I was very disappointed by the way the geisha and maiko were dressed. For one thing, we only got disjointed glimpses of them making up. I would have liked to see that in more detail because a geisha's grooming is one of her arts. The hairstyles all looked wrong to me. (I'm not an expert, though.) The kimono didn't look right to me. (And I'm not an expert here, either.) The geisha and maiko kimono looked equally elaborate and Sayuri didn't seem to be wearing kanzashi when she should have been. I'm wondering if the geisha in the shots that contained more than one of them were wearing kimono of the same season. And, yes, the Jo-Anne Fabrics silk flower kanzashi.... I'm so glad I'm not the only person with this reaction, John.

Naomi, go and see the movie; just keep your eyes on the actor's eyes. The shot of Hatsumomo losing her humanity when Mother forbids her to see Koichi is some wonderfully subtle acting. So is Sayuri's face the first time she pours tea for the Chairman. And the closeup of the Chairman's smile when he first sees Sayuri as a little girl....it made me a fan.)* I saw the movie in a packed theater a week after it opened and the audience applauded it. It's not a dog of a movie; there's enough human truth in it to save it, I just wouldn't pay to see it a second time.

*Of course, your mileage may vary. Not valid in all states. See movie for more details. (How can you tell I like Ken Watanabe? :wink: )

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:34 am

littlebird246:

OH MAN! You people don't even know how much I missed this board. iv'e been posting over at gaijin geisha...I love Viviens stuff, and she is my IDOL, but it's just not the same crowd over there.

I saw it this last weekend...I could have been very disappointed, but I decided not to be. It's not a bad movie if you stop comparing it to the book. If you think of it as "based on" the book, it gets a little better.

I didn't care for the casting of the main characters, although they are all beautiful women they just didn't look japanese to me. I was most diappointed by ZZ, I just dont' think she really pulled off the role. I always saw Sayuri as a girl who looked mature beyond her years, and Ziyi just looked like a child to me.

I know the hair was all wrong...but I LOOOVED the styles. For an evening out in 2005...HOT stuff. And I disagree, i thought the kanzashi were lovely. Maybe i missed the ones that looked like they were from Joanns...

One thing I thought was wierd was that Hatsumomos kimono almost seemed to be fitted, which was odd. I noticed it in the shoulder area..It actually looked beautiful, but not authentic.

My personal favorite costume errors...one scene where Sayuri is wearing a silk kimono and obi casually like a yukata, with no obi age or obi jime (?)and the fact that the geisha wear the collars of their kimono lower than the maiko for the duration of the film..

One costume triumph...Sayuris' scene with the Baron exposed a very pretty and proper eri sugata...Imagine that!

But DEAR GOD. The solo dance scene was just embarrassing. I cringed the whole time. i wonder if the idea was to make it like Butoh..I was REALLY disappointed because I really enjoyed the rest of the dancing in the movie. *shivers just thinking about it* yuk.

I will probably post more on this later..I thought the movie was alright, all in all. It defintiely could have been better, I am hoping maybe someone will re do it one of these days. :roll:

and OMG, Hatsumomos boyfriend. YUM.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:36 am

mojuko:

I finally had time to go see the dreaded movie and I was pleasently suprised. I did not expect a movie based on a fictional event to be a documentary, so perhaps it helped.

I found the Memoirs movie to be an enchanting vision based on the book. I did find the lack of traditional hair styles dissapointing but thought the styles chosen were interesting and beautiful. They wer too light looking to balance the kimono but who else but all of us would notice. The kimonos were very casual in their kitsuke, often missing peices, but lovely none the less.

It was a nice escape for an evening and is a beautifully executed fantasy that hovers between the fantasy created by Golden and the expectations of misguided hollywood intentions. It is neither the first or last inaccurate glimps of a cultural enigma that I still love to watch. It ranks in the world of Knights Tale. Fun for what it is.

BTW. There was not enough of Ken Watanabe!

Mojuko

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:36 am

Shukumei:

I saw the film just a couple of weeks ago, and I liked it a lot. Of course, just as Mojuko-san said, I wasn't expecting an accurate documentary either (not that I could point out any of the errors, with my currently almost non-existant knowledge of the subject :cry:), but I rather enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Gion depicted by the film. I really liked the actresses too; Michelle Yeoh was perfect as Mameha in my opinion, Gong Li was also great, maybe Zhang Ziyi (although I think she's a great actress) was probably the one who looked the least like an... "accomplished geisha", if you know what I mean. I don't know, Sayuri was supposed to be one of the most famous geisha of her time, and the film sort of makes her seem like an eternal apprentice. She just doesn't look like a famous and expert geisha to me o_O;
I found Suzuka Ohgo adorable, too. :)

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:37 am

Yuna-chan:

Someone at imdb had noticed while watching the movie that in some parts the kimonos were folded the wrong way like you would dress a person who has died(not that I ever remeber which way)

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:38 am

ardhanariswar:

I read that and I watched the movie a second time. this only happened when hatsumomo was wearing that red kimono (yukata) with just a simple sash. she goes out into the yard and says to chiyo "she still stinks, of fish!"


actually, in the beginning of the book, Chiyo decides to go with Tanaka on her own because she knows that she is doing her dad a favor or something.


Yeah, there was a lot in the movie that dissapointed me. :cry: but I got over that. Everyone looked stunning. Hatsumomo and Mother were just like how I imagined them. Sayuri did not impress me one bit. I sorta felt that she was being extremly selfish. Even in the book, she was just like Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With The Wind.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:39 am

Tomoe:

Hi! I'm reading your opinions about Memoirs of a Geisha and I'm confused, because here in Spain we can't watch it yet. :cry:
I watched some photographs and I got a lot of information about the movie, but I think it isn't enaugh. I don't like the hairdressing of geisha in the movie in general, because it isn't like true geisha!! It looks like a formal hairdress, like a Western version. And I read that the white make-up is not so clear than the real geisha because children could be frightenned. :? What's frightening in there??? Freddy Krugher? <-- Yeah, I don't know how to write it, sorryyy!!! :ermum
Well, I'll have to wait... :sleepy I will post when I have watched it...
Sadly, movies based on books don't follow the same things always. :(
:shikomi

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:40 am

ardhanariswar:

Actually they did use white make up on sayuri and hatsumomo in some scenes. Sayuri did have her face painted while she formally entertained, but that was only during a few scene. You also have to realize that geisha don't wear their white make up all day; so when sayuri is practicing her dance and walks around miyako in the day, she has none of it on.

When the story fast forwards to when sayuri's 30, she wears only western make up.
So it did stay true to the book.

But the hair styles were completely off. There were also some dumb errors in the movie. while she makes her 3 minute transformation into the famous geisha, theres this little clip of the hairdresser doing her hair, and she crys out in pain. After, the movie shows her sleeping on the wooden pillow. The scenes after this whole segment show sayuri several times with her hair down, then at night, the hair comes back up again.

and also, the way the hairstyle looked, it seemed as if the whole pillow was unneccesary because the hair did not pouf in the back.

hmm whatever...

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:41 am

Mizuhana:

I saw the movie on the 27th. I liked it alright. It was a nice movie, I loved it when little Chiyo and Pumpkin go to Geisha school for the first time.

I don't yet know enough about kitsuke to know how off they were. Same for the hair (althought I'm getting a good idea). The kanzashi did look cheap, even to me. Actually, I first thought I could make something like it from a cheap dollar store decorations with hanging flowers.

[Broken image removed]

I have to say I didn't read the book before. I usually hate a movie if I see it after reading the book. But now, I'm wondering if the book is worth it. Is it?

About Sayuri's solo dance, I liked it... As a fantasticall, manga type of artistic expression. But it did look strange in the movie. Somehow, the crowd in the theatre (in the movie) seems entranced by her dance and I just wanted to burst out laughing because it seamed so ridiculous. I even thought, for a moment, that when she says to Mameha "What if I don't dance well", it was actually announcing how bad the dance looked. But like I said, in some fantastical futuristic manga world it would have worked. (will want to make it as costume)

Oh, and I liked Ziyi Zhang, she was very watery. I did not like Michelle Yeoh in her interpretation though. My two bits.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:43 am

Hoshi:

I saw the movie a few nights ago and I've been mulling over my reaction to it since. I would be lying to myself if I said it was better than "all right." Given all the info that was about it before it came out, combined with all of our shared knowledge here, I went in with lowered expectations. Some aspects of the film ended up surprising me either for the better or for the worst.

Ziyi Zhang ended up impressing me. She didn't convince me at first, but after a while she didn't seem to stick out like a sore thumb as much as I thought she would. I wasn't overly impressed with Michelle Yeoh, because out of all the actors, she seemed to look the most out of place. I dug Ken Watanabe. Koji Yakusho was excellent--he really brought Nobu to life. I think my favorite of all had to be Youki Kudoh (Pumpkin--how come they never revealed her geisha name? Sure, they only say it once in the book, but I thought it was sort of poignant that the poor girl still had to stick with that nickname even as a professional geisha). She was AMAZING, and she portrayed the put-upon, casted-aside, discreetly vengeful Pumpkin perfectly. In addition to that, and I might be wrong here, but didn't Pumpkin have a correct hairstyle during her debut? It looked like she had a wareshinobu to me. That said, that made the other hairstyles really annoy me throughout the film, especially Sayuri's. One of my books--Kyoto Hanamachi by Hiroshi Mizobuchi--shows a hairstyle that looks remarkably close to Hatsumomo's (which looked, I dunno, "punked-out" to me), so who knows. I watched the ending credits long enough to geek out at seeing Liza Dalby's name next to "Geisha Consultant."

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:44 am

Mizuhana:

Oh I loved Pumpkin too! Zoe Weizenbaum as well as Youki Kudoh. I loved how Youki Kudoh was able to portray both shy pre WWII Pumpkin as well as loud americanized Pumpkin. Plus I like the nickname. It's really cute.

But I have yet to buy the book so her Geisha name is a mystery to me.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:44 am

Hoshi:

If I recall correctly, Pumpkin's geisha name was Hatsumiya in order to show her relation to her "sister" Hatsumomo. The whole thing in the novel (and in other resources) about the importance of choosing auspicious names was really interesting, and I was disappointed that the movie didn't make any mention of it at all, not even in passing--why was Chiyo renamed Sayuri and not something else? The novel went into detail about how there wasn't an auspicious or lucky name that included any of the kanji in Mameha's name that could be passed on to Chiyo; hence, she was named Sayuri.

I guess in the grand scheme of the movie it wasn't important to the producers, but it's a pretty important aspect of geisha life, right? :(

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:45 am

Mizuhana:

Well, I do somewhat understand why they didn't put everything from the book into the movie, having don my Bachelor's Degree in film study.

What the director looks for is to captivate the audience, to have all their attention, to keep them on edge. Therefore, you have to keep everything moving.

Imagine if you will a scene were Mameha and Sayuri are just sitting and discussing Geisha world. With all the info there is, it could last a very long time. You would loose the attention of the general public. :sleepy

Also, on paper you can express what a character feels or thinks, but it is much harder to show that through image. A great movie could have no lines and only express emotions through image and music.

Having said that, I do consider Marshall took too many liberties in his interpretation of the book (even if I still have to read it). I'm basing my judgement on your reactions.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:46 am

user112588:

i rather liked gong li as hatsumomo. she has a very beautiful face, very strong and angular but seductive-exactly how i pictured hatsumomo. when you first see her in the movie she looks fantastic-decending down the steps of the okiya, the lights illuminating her face. i suppose they toned down the costume of a true geisha for hollywood standards, but i liked the modern kimono and make-up- it emphasized the actors beauty.

i did think the movie sucked, and that the acting was horrible. gong li was the only thing i enjoyed watching-but perhaps that is just because i like her nonetheless.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:47 am

Musashi:

Agreed, you can't put everything into the movie (that goes for any book and any movie). But the way I see it, Sayuri as movie is like... Saving Private Ryan with American soldiers carrying M-16s assault rifles and riding on M1 tanks instead of Shermans...

It's the little details.

[Broken link removed]

Just take this image... To me, when I first saw it (that was before I saw the movie) it looked like: mother and daughter heading for daughter's Seijin no Hi, and they meet someone they don't really like.

Getting the overall setting and image right is easy (in this case, get an Asian chick and put her into a kimono, which sucks in this case, though, since none of the three look classic Japanese), but it's the little details that make it interesting. Take the LOTR trilogy and what kind of effort Peter Jackson put into it before they even began filming, amazing (all the research they did for weapons and armor, etc). If I have to compare Marshall's "work" with Jackson's, then I can only say "failed, big time, back to film school mister Marshall".

Again I say, it's the little details.

That's one of the reasons why I like jidai geki like Musashi from 2003, you can always watch the little details, like sword protocol, how is the main character/bad guy/whoever placing his sword when meeting with someone important, etc... *goes nuts, giggles like a schoolgirl*

What is rice without a little bit of salt?

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:47 am

ardhanariswar:

I honestly don't think its that big of a deal. I mean, seriously, there are plenty of american actors who took on roles of other ethnicities. Like brad pitt in troy. But we all say, yeah well he's white. Well its the same case for asians.

One part that many people do not consider that it is an American movie, based on an american novel, by an american guy, written for an american audience, and the actors speak in English. If theres no authenticity in thier language, I dont think its right to expect authenticity in other details.

No, I dont think it shows that the director Rob Marshall knows nothing about geisha culture. Movie making is an art in itself. This is a movie, not a documentary.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:48 am

Hoshi:

Those are very good points. I find it sorta amusing and disheartening to know that there are still people out there who see all Asians as "looking alike," but will cop an attitude the moment Mel Gibson is cast as a Scotsman in Braveheart (okay, that was his film, so he could do whatever he wanted) or David Carradine as the role of a Chinese person in the '70's show "Kung Fu." There are better examples of this type of casting, I know, but I can't think of any others right now. In the grand scheme of acting, it all boils down to who can act the part the best, or, in Hollywood, who can bring in the most cha-ching: Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, and Gong Li, or some Japanese unknowns? I understand the rationale of the casting people for the film, but as a person who has a vested interest in geisha, whatever casting or setting tricks Hollywood pulls, it ruins it for me like it has, to varying degrees, for others here.

How much can we expect to know about something in another culture if it's portrayed in such a way that only serves to entertain more than educate (though I know it made many of us curious and eager to do more independent research on geisha) our own culture? It's like I was telling my mom yesterday about the film (she's neither read the book nor seen the film, but she knows about my interests in it pretty well): people who aren't familiar with the geisha culture or lifestyle at all aren't going to be bothered by the details that bother us. In a way, it's the same with seeing, say, a Star Wars film with someone who's a diehard fanatic whereas you've never read or seen any of the other films. They'll know what's authentic; we won't. The reverse is the case with this movie. We weren't the ones Memoirs of a Geisha was made for.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:49 am

SayuriWhispers:
It was a nice escape for an evening and is a beautifully executed fantasy that hovers between the fantasy created by Golden and the expectations of misguided hollywood intentions. It is neither the first or last inaccurate glimps of a cultural enigma that I still love to watch. It ranks in the world of Knights Tale. Fun for what it is.
Very well said!

Honestly, this was how I approached the film. I've seen enough of my favorite author, Stephen King's books twisted around into different movies. Like The Shining, for example. I also had the horror of seeing the movie adaptation of the book that was my favorite before I read "Memoirs"..."Mists of Avalon". If you think Rob Marshall wrecked havoc with this movie, you should see what they did to "Mists"! We're not talking inaccuracies, we're talking pratically rewriting the whole story to a point of changing major pillars of the book to be more "suitable".

I enjoyed the movie and will probably buy the DVD when it comes out. There were failures in it, but it still managed to stick to the book closer then alot of adaptations I've seen. If I hadn't read the book first, I would've been in love with the movie. But I did, so I would give it 3 of 5 stars. Good, enjoyable, but not the epic masterpiece it could've been.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:50 am

Jilara:

Just that Japan isn't all of Asia... I think mister Marshall needs lessons in history. That's actually one of my biggest issue with it. I's like "If it looks Asian it's all the same" yuck... I think that makes it a tad bit racist and arrogant towards other, foreign, cultures.

It's like saying Germany, Switzerland and Austria are the same just because there's German in all three countries (which makes us even closer than China, Japan and Korea, since we also have the same language)... Heck, there's this "The sound of music" movie, which seems to be still rather popular in the US (every American I've ever talked to seems to know it), around here rarely anyone knows it (and neither Austrian nor German TV actually show it) and I feel we're beeing strongly misinterpreted by it.

But ZZ as geisha, that's like a Gerard Depardieu as Adolf Hitler... Just doesn't work...

I'm still grateful that Spielberg casted the elite of German and Austrian actors for the nazis in Schindler's list... That's how you do it...

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:51 am

Yuna-chan:

That is what I also find a bit odd when Rob Marshall seems to think that all asians look alike.
But I believe he should just have stepped up and said that he did not care for any japanese actresses for the roles instead of saying that he auditioned all over Japan and could not find a actress who could dance as well as Ziyi Zhang.
Interestingly some of the leading actresses for example Michelle Yeoh did not even need to audition.
She told that Rob Marshall simply asked her who did she want to act.
When Steven Spielberg was suppose to direct he had cast a japanese actress named Rika Okamoto in the part of Sayuri.
When Marlon Brandon did the movie "The Teahouse of the August Moon" the director had planned on a western actress for the female lead but Marlon Brandon insisted on casting a japanese actress in the part.

Has anyone seen the madtv's version of moag.
I saw it on the web here:

[Broken link removed]

it's just so funny :D

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:52 am

AutumnCherryBlossom:

I saw this movie last week and while I loved the scenery and settings, I really missed the full white makeup and the true geisha and maiko hairstyles. Not that the ones they had were awful, just not correct. My guesses for their reasons for not doing the full makeup and hairstyles are these: since it's made for a general western audience (not neccessarily geisha/maiko/kimono-obssessed people like us) the full white makeup might have made it harder for audiences to really see and identify with the characters. The full white makeup is gorgeous but mask-like too. Hairstyles...I bet they just didn't want to try to track a maiko's career stages through hairstyles. Since they change over the course of a maiko's career, I have a feeling they would have gotten confused about something and shot it out of order...plus, could they even get someone to do those styles for a movie?

It's something to ponder.

I thought it was okay, but not great. I really like the soundtrack, though! Â :wink: And Ken Watanabe. I really liked him. :lovelove

Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention something when I posted my thoughts about MoaG before. :oops: I went with my roommate who also likes Japanese culture but knew nothing about geisha culture. So whenever she had a question I had to whisper a brief explanation. When the movie was finished a mother with her two little daughters turned around and started asking my roommate about various aspects of the movie. I jumped in and started explaining about the story's plotline, geisha, older/younger sisters, patrons, etc. The woman looked at me for a moment and said, "How do you know all of this?"

I told her that I'd done some research and read the book MoaG. The thing is, I don't know nearly as much as I want to about it all.

But I hope I at least made sure she didn't go with the Western stereotypes of geisha...or that I at least gave her something to think about. Cool, neh? :)

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:54 am

Tomoe:

I watched that picture a month ago and I got surprised! :tayuu Because Pumpkin looks like a real maiko, wow! 8O The thing that makes me wonder is why Sayuri, Hatsumono and another geisha characters aren't like that. What do you think about it? Maybe is true what Hoshi said. I haven't watched the movie yet, maybe she is made-up and dressed like that because she is going to have her debut. Does anyone know why? :)

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:55 am

orastella:

Ok, so now we know they could have done an accurate maiko look. I wish I knew why they did not. The movie would stand the test of time better if it were accurate to the actual geisha look. I know the plot is right out of Cinderella, but they could have at lease been honest to the geisha look. It is an aesthetic that stands the test of time, after all. An elegant simplicity.


Oh and I found this tidbit of information in wikipedia.
Gift from a geisha
On a recent visit to Tokyo to promote the film, Zhang Ziyi received a mysterious parcel and letter, revealed to have been sent by an elderly Japanese woman who had once worked as a geisha. In her letter, the woman stated that she had been touched by the trailer of the film and expected the movie to bring back fond memories for her and her friends. Inside the parcel were several exquisitely worked antique kimono. Zhang Ziyi was moved to tears by the gesture and sent the woman an invitation to the film's Japanese premiere. (The Star Online).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memoirs_of_a_Geisha

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:55 am

Yuna-chan:

I read that article and it alsom said that she would be wearing the kimonos to the japanese premiere.
But some people said that that news was never confirmed to be true.
Yes, it seems that Pumpkin is the only one who looks like a real maiko, sadly but I thought that one of Gong Li's hairstyles reminded me of the Yakko style.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:56 am

setsumomo:

I saw the movie when it opened nationwide on 23Dec2005. Last night, me and a friend who had lived 7 years in Japan went to see it. I wanted his perspective since he would understand my complaints over details a little more than the average person. Here is what I thought

The hairsytles killed me! Especially the "horrid bump" Sayuri wore half the time. Maybe its just me but I feel like the polished and styled look of a finished hairstyle is part of the "iki" effect. Like many other aspects of the geisha lifestyle, if you could see that style on anyone walking on the street, it wouldn't be as special. Every part of a geisha is a little work of art so how can you spend so much time on kimono and makeup and than throw your hair into a bun and call it "iki". (Now I know, older geisha will wear their hair in a simple bun with little or no makeup (western style) but on a maiko the whole package is over styled and fantasy-like in its appearrance. So an over the top kimono and white makeup assemble should not have a commen hair style.) Ok...maybe its just me.... :oops:

Did anyone notice Sayuri wearing fake eyelashes. I know it makes her prettier but a little part of me did not like a 1930's maiko wearing eyelashes! Haha!

I know it was an integral part of the book but I hated they showed the mizuage scene. I physically cringed in the theater and wanted to scene over as quickly as possible. Again, I was afraid it would give the uneducated yet another reason to say geisha are prostitutes. I wish they had cut it off with her coming into the room and bowing at the futon and he inviting her to lay down. That was sufficent.

Did anyone notice how they kept calling Kyoto "Miyako?"

My friend said the same guy who played Nobu also played the guy in the Japanese movie "Shall We Dance."

I thought Gong Li was fabulous. I had trouble understand her accent at times but her raw emotion and angry outbursts were a perfect portrayal of a woman on the edge! Loved it! I had also liked her in "Raise the Red Lantren" if anyone else would like to see one of her movies. Even thought her hairstyles were as wrong as the others, I still liked her styles better. (Pumpkin did have the best hair though, as far as accuracy.....at least 60% of the time! :roll: )

I was disappointed with Mameha Michelle Yeoh. I like Michelle in other movies especially "Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon" but she was not how I thought of Mameha. To me, Mameha would be a delicate flower of a woman yet as strong and unbreakable as willow. So many would underestimate her. That was the one character I wish they had recast.

Overall, I did not mind the movie. In fact, the second time I liked it better because I relaxed a little and enjoyed it for entertainment value rather than authenticity.

Ok, that is all of my ranting and raving for now. (Who am I fooling? Give me more time and I will have more topics.)

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:04 am

Hoshi:

Miyako means "capital," which used to Kyoto until 1868 when the capital was formally moved to Edo/Tokyo during the restoration. Given that this story took place many years later makes me curious about why they kept calling their city Miyako, but I don't know the history of that time well enough to have a definite answer... :(

That word choice did keep striking me as odd during the movie, too. I'm glad I wasn't the only one!

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:05 am

kugepoet:

A little background history might help here.

Kyoto was originally known as Heiankyo and was the Imperial capital of Japan from 794 CE until 1868 CE with the Meiji Restoration and the renaming of Edo as Tokyo (literally "Eastern Capital.")

In 1192 after the Genpei wars, a military government was formed by its first shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo, in the eastern city of Kamakura, however, the Imperial court continued to be based in Heiankyo and it was considered the capital, despite the fact that Kamakura was actually doing the day-to-day governing of the country. This lasted until the 1300's. There's a period of a couple of hundred years of warlords duking it out for power, then Tokugawa Ieyasu becomes shogun around 1603 and moves his base of power to Edo (now Tokyo). However, Kyoto was still considered the Imperial capital for all intents and purposes.

Kyoto may not be the political center of Japan anymore, but if you ask its traditional artists, it's still "Miyako" to them. As most of you know, the most prestigious geisha tradition is that of Gion. When Nakamura Ganjiro III lectured at Cal Berkeley last year prior to his company's kabuki performance, he described the difference between the kabuki traditions of Edo and Kyoto - and said Kyoto's kamigata kabuki is the better because it is the kabuki of the heart. OK, he may be prejudiced, but still, there is this perception that Kyoto is the "real" Japan because anyone I've ever talked to about visiting says "go to Kyoto!"

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:06 am

kabuki_callgirl:

Stuff that you have probs already heard before

Watching it right now

ITS ALL SO WRONG

Make up all wrong for a Maiko
Nobu has both arms
Too many white collars for the Maiko


But Ken Wantabe rocks (Its the sumo scene right now)

But Gong Li Is so beautiful

I havent seen much...this is my first time watching it

We found the DVD in Asia...and the soundtrack is off So it looks like I will see it again at the theatre

and Dr Crab looks really creepy

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:06 am

Yuna-chan:

I wished they would have made Hatsumono more they way she was in the book(manipulative) now it seems she just is a jealous drunk.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:07 am

Hoshi:

You know, you're right about that. They did keep her gradual descent into insanity in there, but at times that seemed to be the main characteristic of Hatsumomo as opposed to her manipulative streak, which I think they only emphasized when Sayuri was making her debut and Hatsumomo and Pumpkin kept crashing every party.

I personally love the fact that they kept the part in when Auntie stuck her fingers up under Hatsumomo's kimono to check if Hatsumomo really had just had sex, and then smacked her upside the head (p. 91 in the trade paperback version). That's just so ballsy, regardless of the culture, though now I wonder if that had any historical basis...

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:08 am

setsumomo:

I really liked how Gong Li portrayed the evil nature of Hatsumomo. She always seemed to me like a poisonous snack about the strike. Especially when she would get in Sayuri's face. She had so much anger and hate towards everyone and everything, that you could almost feel the descent into madness. I loved it!

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:09 am

Tomoe:

I finally watched the film last 20th January!
Well, I think it is very well done, I love the film because it follows the book version a lot, but I think they could have added something about Sayuri's future, when she lives in New York and so... Well, and Pumpkin's photograph (Hoshi's post) is made when Pumpkin makes her debut, like I thought! Amazing! :oops:
I think Sayuri could have had a better hairdress, and maiko and geiko's white make-up could have been more real... well, and what do you think about their neck's white make-up? I think it is very down made!
The transition from maiko to geiko isn't shown, too.
But though that things, I think it is really good, I love the music, with the shamisen and musicians like Yo-Yo Ma making solos.
And Liza Dalby should help a lot with the details. :D

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:10 am

Brandeana:

I'll proudly announce that I've paid $9.25 three times to go see Memoir's and my last time was paid in quarters, dimes and nickles out of my change jar.

One of the biggest points that drew me into the movie is how they made the colors very poignant. When it was snowy, it was white, and when they cherry blossoms were falling, they were bright pink. They made sure to show that the world was indeed colorful.

I've seen it three times and want to go again and again! I've taken my darling European boyfriend Alexei (Russian XD ), my Grandmother, and my friend Chris. Alex has downloaded the movie and intends to send a DVD formatted copy of it flying in my direction before I pay for it again.

Its a good idea. If I keep going to see it, the longer it will stay in theaters. The longer its in theaters, the longer I must wait for the special edition DVD.

One thing I would've liked to see was a bit more japanese. I think a few words would've helped the general public know more then the usual horrible "konneecheewa" and "Domo Areegato" (Mr. Roboto). I think all the japanese in the beginning then none the rest of the way was odd...

Other then that... :D

Edit: Fixed some typo's lol. Get use to them, I'm normally not on a computer but infact my sidekick 2 XD. So bare with me in the future <3

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:11 am

Samurai Soul:
China cancels release of 'Memoirs of a Geisha'

NEW YORK -- The Chinese government has canceled the release of "Memoirs of a Geisha" -- a decision made amid speculation that officials are worried the sight of Chinese actresses playing Japanese geisha would stir a backlash.

The film originally was cleared for distribution on Feb. 9, but the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV reversed itself over the weekend, a U.S. film industry official said Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release that information.

The official reasons weren't immediately clear, and Chinese authorities couldn't be reached because offices were closed for a national holiday.

"We were pleased by their acceptance of the film in November and were disappointed by this decision," said Jim Kennedy, a spokesman for Sony Pictures Entertainment, which had planned to distribute the film in China.

"Memoirs," based on the best-selling novel by Arthur Golden, features "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star Ziyi Zhang, former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li from "Raise the Red Lantern" as geisha -- entertainers skilled in dance, song and conversation.

The casting choices had stoked traditional Sino-Japanese tensions even before its scheduled release, with postings on a Chinese Web site denouncing Zhang as an embarrassment to China.

Many Chinese are still upset about Japanese World War II-era military atrocities in China and the lack of what they feel is a proper apology for them. Historians generally estimate the Japanese army killed about 150,000 people during its 1937-38 occupation of China's Nanjing city, then known as Nanking. Chinese historians put the death toll at as high as 300,000.

Producers Douglas Wick ("Gladiator") and Lucy Fisher and director Rob Marshall ("Chicago") previously told The Associated Press the casting was an exhaustive, meticulous process that considered acting ability, star power and physical traits.

The film's cancellation won't have a much of a financial impact on Sony, the U.S. film industry official said. A typical Hollywood film released in China would make only about $500,000, he said, because of low ticket prices, attendance and piracy.

Illegal copies of the movie are already available in China, which has come under heavy criticism for rampant piracy. High-quality "Memoirs" DVDs surfaced in Shanghai weeks ago.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:12 am

setsumomo:

I am very surprised no one has commented on the part with Pumpkin and the squid on a stick. I especially loved that section in the book and was a little disappointed when they dedicated all of 2 seconds to it in the film. While reading about it in the book, I could just see her running her tongue across the pavement stones and making a face as if she was just as surprised she did it as Chiyo was! :roll:

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:14 am

Hoshi:

You know, it's so weird that I don't even remember that part from the book. It was such a quick scene in the movie, and because it was, I don't think viewers had the chance to digest it. Sure, I saw their eyes get all big when Pumpkin ate the squid, but I could tell that by later on the movie, that scene was forgotten.

Poor Pumpkin in general seemed so glossed over in the movie, and I know it was because she wasn't the main character and no one cares about the supporting characters in a Cinderella-type story. Still, her sheer existence adds a whole 'nother element, a darker and unfair element to the story itself.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:15 am

Yuna-chan:

I think what I've heard they don't concentrate on other characters very much at all.
Did they at all even explain why Mameha wanted Hatsumono out of the picture... :?

Which poster do you prefer.
Here are some:
http://www.michelleyeoh.info/Movie/Mg/mgposters.html

I actually have a small version of the japanese one which a friend sent me.
But the U.S. official poster looks like a commercial for perfume or cosmetics.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:18 am

Hoshi:

Yes, it totally does! I think you nailed it, Yuna-chan! Now I'll never see it the same way again :P

I like the variety of posters Japan had for the movie (the one of Chiyo's my favorite :) ). It reminds me of what sometimes happens with big action flicks here in the US that are based on games, comics, or books with a large cast of (usually known) characters: they'll do tall, skinny posters of one or two characters at a time with no more than maybe their name, a very brief description, the movie title, and/or the release date on them.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:18 am

setsumomo:

I thought it strange that they put Ambitious next to Nobu. I did not see him as that one though that might be one of his characteristics. I would have preferred the word "Protected" or something to show how he tries to protect himself was feeling too much.
Funny, after seeing the little poster of Chiyo I thought, we really did not discuss the girl who played Chiyo much. I thought she did a marvelous job and realized her scenes are some of my favorite parts of the movie.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:19 am

Hoshi:

It seemed like Nobu was really underplayed in the movie, I think. He was certainly more ambitious in the novel, but, yeah, I think you're right: he was more guarded than anything else in the film.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:19 am

Sui:

I'm embarassed to say I didn't notice the inaccuracies in the film at first. ^^;;

I saw it on Christmas eve, and I got really wrapped up in it, just like I did the first time I read the book. However, looking back, I do remember wondering why they just let the hem of their kimono drag along the street, the white makeup seemed nearly see-through, and that their hairstyles did seem rather strange. Overall I would watch it again, certainly not for "accuracy", but for the story. It brought back a lot of memories reading the book.

It would've been much better if, as I read from many opinions on the forums, accuracy wasn't traded for "Hollywood". As I study and learn more, I'll likely notice more inaccuracies, but for the most part I can put them aside and enjoy the movie. It's just "fun", not an authentic look into the life of the geiko.

Also, one thing that bugged me: why did they have the okiya set on fire? And not only that, but afterwards the okiya seemed fine. :? Quite frankly that was an aspect I expected least....fire is incredibly disasterous for an okiya, for understandable reasons. (I'm probably as terrified of fire as they must've been.....)

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:20 am

Miki:

Hi !!! I finally saw the movie. Here in Poland the premiere was yesterday so I had to wait for a really long time. I guess thats better tat I knew about all the inaccuracies in the movie before seeing it because by now I could get used to the way the movie is made. I went didn't expecting much but the movie really suprised me. :)
The scenography was really stunning and the plot interesting (exept the ending- but I didn't like it in the book anyway). As for the actors I loved little Chiyo- she did a really freat job. Zhang Ziyi wasn't how I imagined Sayuri. I thought she is really emotionally strong but she keeps everything she feels to herself. In the movie she was too witty (talking this way ti the Hatsumomo on her debiut!!! :roll: ). Also Mameha wasn't how I imagined. I must say she was too old for this role, and her brown hair were irritating. For me Mameha should behave more lady-like (I think that the figure skater Shizuka Arakawa is a perfect Mameha but of course she couldn't play her). I reallly liked Hatsumomo though. They make her personality more complex in the movie- they showed she was a really unhappy women. I also imagined Pumpkin differently- as a talkative and very original geisha not so drunk and crazy. But I must say that I liked the dances despite the fact that the geisha would never dance like that.
I really must say that I liked the movie. I tried to forget all the things they were wrong and I had a really great time for the last two hours. :D

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:21 am

ChloeChan:

Here is my two cents. Personally, I became obsessed w/ the movie after I saw it. Ran out and bought the book, then became obsessed with that too. Now, I'm obsessed with maiko and geisha. You see, I kinda do things backward. Anyway, now that I'm learning more, I am becomeing more aware of things in the movie that are not so worthy of obsession. But I'm very happy with the movie because it brought me to where I am today. In short, I think that the most positive element to MOAG is that it awakenes an awareness and creates interest in the geisha culture. I would have gone on in total ignorance if not for the spark of interest the movie awakened in me, so for that I am VERY grateful!

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:22 am

desertlily:

Same....while the movie is incredibly inaccurate, I still like it. x.x And I've always been fascinated by geisha, but I never would have gone all geisha crazy had it not been for Memoirs. Granted, it was an inaccurate portrayal, but it DID make me want to dress up like a maiko (hell, before the movie, I didn't even know what a maiko was), and led me to this site, where I've been able to learn about how geisha REALLY are.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:24 am

claw789:

I was watching the making-of documentaries on the special features dvd, and I must say.. razzle-dazzle? sexy? contemporary? in a pre-war mythical "miyako"? "Make it look Japanese"? No geisha would risk snapping her fan open like that - those things cost at least $200. A hanamichi is used in kabuki. Her wild flailing looked so uncontrolled - in no way mimics a heron failing to take flight.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:24 am

orastella:

Couldn't being somewhat careless about the expensive fans just show how little they know of money? A way to make ozashiki even more distant from the cares of everyday life? I'm not sure I'm saying the well, but you get what I'm going for?

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:25 am

GothicBlossom:

I finally saw the movie on a transatlantic flight to Atlanta recently. The one thing that
really annoyed me was the top knot hairstyles on both maiko and geisha. I've been studying maiko hairstyles recently and have watched videos of maikos' hair being carefully styled by skilled hairdressers.
For me, a big part of the maiko and geiko/geisha appearance is the way the hairstyles and wigs frame the face so beautifully. So to see so-called maiko and geisha with their hair piled up in a weird top knot was frustrating!

There were other things that bugged me too but that was the worst.

I read the MoaG book years ago when it first came out in paperback and really enjoyed it. It's a great fairy tale type book but these days I prefer to read about genuine Flower & Willow.

The actor that played Hatsumomo was great at playing the evil character and the other actors were very good too.

I had to watch this hemmed in, in an economy class seat next to a big bloke with beefy arms so my concentration was affected. :wink:

Overall, great acting but if you're making a movie set in an unusual, complex world like 1940s Flower & Willow, details like hairstyle and costume matter! :coy:

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:27 am

kathiego:

GothicBlossom I too was extremely annoyed and disappointed over the hairstyles. But if you look at the grownup "Pumpkin" at her Misedashi or coming out as a Maiko she was the only one who had a good Maiko hairstyle. The person who played Hatsumomo is Gong Li. She is a very good Chinese actress and has appeared in many movies even the Hannibal movie which I think is the last in the Silence of the Lambs series. I could have forgiven what others call the Joann Fabrics Kanzashi if they had only had Maiko and Geiko hairstyles! :angerburst

Actually you can make Japanese style kanzashi using regular fabrics, even from Joann's, if you use plenty of starch. But they might look better if you used silk. :)

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:29 am

Ayilana:

Don't you love it when you write a review about the movie--a polite one, too!--and someone bites your head off and practically accuses you of knowing nothing of the history, reasons, China-Japan relations?? So awesome... Especially when they clearly mistook all you said and don't know enough of what they're talking about themselves, AND when they try to agree and point out that geisha ARE prostitutes!! :mad: Oy... Some people. They just take everything the wrong way.

~And as for the hairstyles, I totally agree, it was messed up. And another time you see the proper wareshinobu is on the poster for the dance recital. Sayuri is actually wearing the real thing!!!

And sorry, I just felt like having a small rant!! ><

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:30 am

kathiego:

Ayilana-san, You are correct. So sorry for your experiences! I love that poster for the Memoirs of a Geisha where Sayuri is wearing the Wareshinobu hair style. It looks very cute on her.

My husband says that western audiences would find it ugly and not understand about the hair styles. The white makeup did look too garish on the type of moving picture cameras they were using. But in documentaries they overcome the white makeup problem. Was it because on MOAG they were using the wrong type of makeup? Plus the lighting. The white makeup looks much better under natural lighting rather than harsh direct lighting.

In the behind the scenes they really did a lot to try to re-create a world that had vanished - the 1920's and 1930's hanimachi (spelling?). But geez they could have spent more money on the actors themselves in getting at least some of the hairstyles rather than their deciding to do away with the proper hairstyles altogether. Maybe we are more critical because the people in this forum know more than the average western audience member who, like you said, is convinced, from what their father told them, that "Geisha really ARE prostitutes".

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:31 am

Ayilana:

Kathiego-san ~ Yes, I know you are probably correct that some people might think it odd with the hairstyles, but then again, considering what the movie is about, I would think they would be okay with that. But maybe that's just me. And what made it frustrated with that girl is that she said just by the act of selling their virginity was prostitution! And she called it a "tradition" in Japan as though it still exists! >< So, I pointed out that "prostitution" implies a career. At least to me it does! But yes, most Westerners wouldn't understand the idea of the geisha being totally SEPARATE from the prostitute! And I agree, non-natural lighting looks SO bad on all that white makeup! ~ But yes, as for actually recreating the Hanamachi, I totally think they nailed it.

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Re: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA MOVIE -- POST RELEASE DISCUSSION

Post by IG Team » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:34 am

kathiego:

Ayilana-san, Oh my. Like those girls had a choice when their virginity was sold during those times! They did not! So instead of out-and-out prostitution it was more like white slavery and becoming some older man's mistress until he was tired of you or died off or lost his fortune or whatever. The prostitutes, if they want to see real prostitutes, they can watch a movie called Yojimbo with Toshiro Mifune (7 Samurai) and directed by Akira Kurasawa which has a short little little minor part where you see some Tayuu and prostitutes. You can tell they are prostitutes, tell the person, because they have many stick ornaments in their hair and when they do this one scene they have bare feet which they kick up towards their audience - none of them wear the tabi socks. :coy:

Yojimbo was re-made in the west many times, but slightly different. It was A Fistful of Dollars with Clint Eastwood and later on it was Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis. :)

I hope that girl gets more educated somehow.

So sorry for your experiences!

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