25 December 2005

Memoirs of Gay-Sha

I'm absolutely fascinated by geisha and confess to having more than a casual knowledge on the topic. While my expertise on kimono is not as extensive as I'd like, not having ever had the opportunity to handle an authentic piece, the fact does not lessen my enthusiasm or appreciation for not only kimono, but the geisha arts and culture. The protocol, the music of the shamisen and the mysterious dances are really fascinating.

I had such high hopes for the film version of Memoirs of a Geisha. What a chance to educate people about the amazing lives of maiko and geiko and the politics of the Japanese teahouses. The vivid and priceless kimono could be displayed to their full effect with some demonstration of the complex skill required to tie the underrrobes and knots of the obi. It could have truly debunked the common beliefs that geisha were prostitutes instead of highly trained artists and entertainers. I could go on and on about the possibilities in making a film like this, but I'll spare you, the gentle reader.

Thanks to Rob Marshall, his writers and producers of this woefully under shot and under explored film. They managed to make a simple boy-meets-girl movie out of a spectacular subject and excellent work of fiction with historical basis.

Thanks, Big Hollywood, for yet another disappointment.

(I suspect that like most of my rants, this post will be up for a limited time.)