Memoirs of a Geisha

Philbert Ono mix with MosG posterWhen I read that Arthur Golden's novel about 4 years ago, I dreamt to see it filmed cos the book is very well written.
The plots were interweaving in my head when I was reading it and I really felt like I could see Sayuri with her blue-grey eyes, the Chairman and the other characters.
Recently, its film version is out, but.....
To my disappointment the lead roles are not played by Japanese actresses at all.
I don't mean that those Chinese actresses are less pretty or don't play well.
The matter is exotism, Chinese and Japanese each have their own differently.

I think I'm not going to see it, I'm afraid the movie will ruin my ideal picturing of the book. Maybe I will read the book again instead of watching the flick.

Yesterday afternoon while still in Shanghai, Leet sms-ed me. Rumour says Memoirs of a Geisha is banned in China, probably because the current political dissonance between the two countries.

Wiki says Memoirs of a Geisha is "a movie about Japanese played by Chinese, written by whites".
Click the image to see some old postcards with genuine images of Geisha.

2 comments:

Eg said...

Hi,
Mind if I put some words here.....You know Ouli,sometime perception can deceive and expectation can turn out to be negative too.Memoirs of a Geisha is and foremost a Hollywood production and no matter how exotic it tries to be it will never come close.
At time of writing,I have yet to read the novel nor seen the film adaptation of it.Maybe there is something wrong with your perception of the film simply because it was played by Chinese.And yes I have to agree with you that Chinese can never be Japanese and likewise.As in all Hollywood production,infact almost all kind of film productions,the main purpose is commercial.
Yes,Zhi Yi and Gong Li are both bankable{I presumed thats how Hollywood says it]and afterall to Westerners Orientals will look Orientals doesn't matter whether they are Chinese,Japanese or Koreans.
Actually,there is nothing unusual about Hollywood film as long as they can find a lead or two to play in it.
Remember Kevin Costner who played Robin Hood....an American can never be an Englishman but who cares.Or Ben Kingsley,an Englishman,who played Ghandi.Or in the early days,Omar Shariff as DrZhivago.Well much,much better than in years long gone,where they potrayed asians only by makeups.Those were the days and afterall its only for entertainment.
Coming to the banning of the movie,Memoirs of a Geisha in China......thats another story and I think the reason or reasons for its banning comes not from the head but the bottom of their feet.

Owner said...

That's why EG, I don't really like hollywood flicks :-D
But I got your point.
Still..I don't feel like to see the movie.
Maybe because I'm japan-ized? :-D I mean, anything sounds Japan, should literally be Japan, forgive my ignorance :-D

You know, once I saw this hollywood movie (on TV, just because I was at a friend's house, and my friend was watching that movie). It's about a luv affair between an american and this guy from this certain European country, and was casted in that European country. But as I saw the lead actor who played as an aristocrat there, I told to my friend, that that guy was not from that country, but from another country (though they look similar).
So, we bet and wait for the credits at the end of the movie (which were so boring since I couldn't feel/ see the film as 'not a film' anymore) and I was right :-D

That's what I'm afraid if I saw MoaG
Or...maybe because I prefer Gong Li to play as Sayuri rather than Zhi Yi :-D
Maybe Ben Kingsley and Omar Shariff were an exception :-D
and weird I could accept Chow Yun Fat on "Anna and the King", but I don't have toleration for MoaG :-))

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