Below is a question and answer relating to an earlier blog where I commented on Steven Spielberg's "Memoirs of a Geisha." Yes, I know Rob Marshall is the director.
At 1:21 PM, R. Polson said...
Pete, you have a good point. However, I believe that when it comes to the art of acting, any person can portray another race.
Just think about it, there has been many occasions when someone of another race has portrayed a character, especially in theater.
I think if you allow your mind to become absorbed in the story and not so much the person who playing the character, then a movie or play can be just as effective.
Though I can see what you're saying because the two cultures have had issues with each other, then it doesn't seem right but overall, I don't think that it will make a difference in a good movie.
At 6:04 PM, Pete Duhon said...
I do agree with you that they can still make a "good movie," however, the inaccuracies in this film are many and those inaccuaracies betray history. It is fine to see the film albeit with the understanding that it is purely sensationalized and ficition. Here are some snippets of info:
1. Not only is the lead charactor Chinese and playing Japenese character, which offends both cultures, Sayuri also has blue eyes. Very interesting.
2. The actual hair styles of real geisha have been changed as well; long, loose and free-flowing. "more reminisicent of those seen in Chinese films also starring Zhang, Li and Yeoh." andrew lang, Financial Times
3. Even the dance style of the geisha is protrayed different from reality; it is faster and more dramatic: Hollywood at its best.
4. In Japan, the film is simply titled "Sayuri," obviously Hollywood felt it would be even more insulting to name it "memoirs of a geisha" since it is anything but that. LOL
It has been said before that it is difficult if not next to impossible to create art for the masses. Rather, mass marketing often dilutes art so that it can be made to appeal to so many people. Some chose profits over art. Considering the pressures to make a 50 million dollar profit instead of 10 million, I sympathize with the producers and directors of this film(smile).
So hey, if you see it, enjoy it. I am sure it is a great movie. But the film doesn't portray geisha accurately. However, this will not prevent the film from being enjoyable to some audiences who may be somewhat apathetic to other cultures concerns beside their own. I champion awareness and that is what I promote.