Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha

I recently saw a trailer for this movie, and on first glance it could be very good. I’ve got one problem with it that I can’t seem to get around: Why are the two female leads Chinese? I like Michele Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi, their movies are great, but when I see the scenes with them, something is wrong. My brain doesn’t buy it. The majority of a Western audience might not have any problem with it, but I can only imagine that to Hong Kong film fans they unintentionally stand out. Couldn’t they find any English-speaking Japanese actresses? It just seems wrong to me.

Then there’s the weird culture shock that’s being reported. What the heck, didn't they just see The Last Samurai?

1 comment:

KennKong said...

Economics, Kaiju.

Name two Japanese actresses. Right now. Don't go to IMDb, do it off the top of your head.

Now, have those two actresses been in anything anyone outside Toho Studios?

They've cast two Chinese women because the majority of folks who'll run to see this flick don't know chop suey [sic] from chop-socky, but they'll recognize these two women from those other films they were supposed to care about (q.v., Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies, etc.).

So, they're hoping for 'any' recognition to get people to come see this movie.

Just be thankful they didn't cast Julia Roberts or Charlize Theron in it. In fact, if this movie had been made twenty years ago, you can bet the lead role would have gone to Meryl Streep.

The Culture Confusion they're experiencing is very odd, since I would think the majority of folks clamoring to catch a sneak of this would have been fans of the book to begin with, who would have already been enlightened to these differences.

Then again, if the sneaks were done 'off the street' in LA, that would seem to be about par for the course.