Wednesday, November 30, 2005


The world premiere for Memoirs Of A Geisha took place in downtown Tokyo on Tuesday evening. For reasons too complicated to explain, I found myself in attendance (wearing a full antique kimono ensemble that made me look more like a lolita-tranny than a geisha).

The film is based on the novel written by some dude from Tennessee. Most of the main parts are played by Chinese actresses, all of whom were devastatingly beautiful, but clearly not Japanese. But again, it's a Hollywood movie and authenticity wasn't high on the list of priorities.

Having said that, the movie was better than I'd expected. You just have to go into it with the understanding that it's a non-Japanese Japanese movie made in a Hollywood film factory, with non-Japanese Japanese actors who have already broken into the western movie industry, that was filmed in a non-Japanese Japanese location (Culver City?), embellished with hauntingly beautiful and vaguely pan-Oriental cello track by established Chinese cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Oh yeah, and written by a dude from Tennessee, who was sued by the real Sayuri a few years back for slander.

The premiere was the longest event I've ever been to in my life, not least because wearing a kimono is pure agony. Kimono, hair, and makeup took about 4 hours to complete ( and after all that, I end up looking like an old pedo-transvestite). The movie itself was over 2 hours long, and then the actors gave one tearful speech each. All I wanted to do was to loosen all the belts, kick off those shoes, and take the FORTY pins out of my hair.

As you can see, I'll do almost anything for the experience.


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