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Monday, March 27, 2006/1:17 PM

Memoirs of a Movie

Okay movie review time boys and girls. Everyone sit down in a circle and Auntie Ielle shall tell you all a story. Once long ago (um last evening to be specific) a group of four friends ventured out to see a little film which they had missed when it was in the theater. That film?... Memoirs of a Geisha.

All in all it was an enjoyable film. Of course I liked the book immensely, to be truthful it was the one book this year that I HURRIED to pick up. What's even more amusing to me, is that I knew full well it's a bit melodramatic (a bit?... okay actually a TON). But it sucked me in like a sad soap opera. And well the film delivered about the same punch. However I do have a few minor gripes. For one the people who did the Geisha make-up need to be shot. WHY oh WHY didn't they get someone from Japan to do that? Someone at least familiar with how these woman look? First the make-up was not white enough. Kyoto Geisha are VERY VERY white.

Second they kinda messed up the back neck part (not going to get into it, but there are different ways you put your makeup on regarding the back of your neck which depend on your rank as a geisha... i.e apprentice or whatever). Geisha wear wigs. They have for CENTURIES. This isn't some new modern geisha thing. They tried to do the hair in this film with the actress's real hair. WHY? They only ended up looking as though they had put their hair up in a bun. Trust me, a Geisha's hair is wildly artistic.

Then there were the little silly things. For example maiko (no idea if I spelled that right) Almost NEVER go out without full make-up and if they do they're in street clothing, not their kimono. When Michelle Yeoh's character goes out with Zhang Ziyi for Zhang's first night out as a Geisha she (Michelle) is not wearing make-up. UNHEARD OF! When your Big Sister takes you out on your debut night you better believe she's just as fancy as you are. This is a big deal! And finally the only other thing that bugged me was the dance which Zhang Ziyi performed. It seem too acrobatic for a proper Geisha dance for me. Much of the stuff I've seen Geisha perform in documentaries are more subdued. It's graceful turns, flying fans. spinning ribbons. Not running about acting as if you were being beating by the winds and collapsing onto the stage (only after doing a backbend as only Zhang Ziyi can do... I think they worked that in to take advantage of her House of Flying Daggers/Crouching Tiger/Hero moves lol)

Now don't get me wrong, I liked this move. And I don't mean to knock it. I just thought they could have been a little more authentic (what am I saying, this is Hollywood lol). As it was they had pissed off the Japanese community by casting a Chinese gal as the lead. The least they could do was get the rest right. Ah well, I guess I shouldn't be shocked. At least they got her creepy blue eyes dead on. They just looked hauntingly beautiful. Creepy beautiful.

OH i nearly forgot. I about split a gut when the American General Character appeared and it was Buffalo Bill of Silence of the Lambs Fame. I couldn't stop hearing "It puts the lotion on its skin. It does this when ever it is told" over and over. And him trying to sleep with Zhang Ziyi was enough to make me queesey. Terrible that the poor actor will ALWAYS have that role branded on him. Lol, well at least he's working.

As for the evening, it was fun. We were late, so we ended up camping out on the floor of the lounge they were showing the film in (this was a free on-campus event, a few of my students were there). D won the movie poster. They read 114 and I looked at my ticket which said 116 and I thought... nuts so close and D goes... oh... oh hey that's me. Then promptly said, um what am I going to do with a poster. Much to my delight she handed it over to me after the film. Thank you so much D, it looks awesome in my office :) Thanks! So yes, overall I'd declare the night a success!

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