Sunday, October 21, 2007

Memoirs of a Geisha

It's hard to find fault with the fascinating story, which traces a young girl's determination to free herself from the imprisonment of scullery maid to geisha, then from the imprisonment of geisha to a woman allowed to love. Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo), a young girl with curious blue eyes, is sold to a geisha house and doomed to pay off her debt as a cleaning girl until a stranger named The Chairman (Ken Watanabe) shows her kindness.
She is inspired to work hard and become a geisha in order to be near the Chairman, with whom she has fallen in love. An experienced geisha (Michelle Yeoh) chooses to adopt her as an apprentice and to use as a pawn against her rival, the wicked, legendary Hatsumomo (Gong Li). Chiyo (played as an older woman by Ziyi Zhang), now renamed Sayuri, becomes the talk of the town, but as her path crosses again and again with the Chairman's, she finds the closer she gets to him the further away he seems. Her newfound "freedom" turns out to be trapping, as men are allowed to bid on everything from her time to her virginity.

I've owned the soundtrack for months: traded Mom my copy of the soundtrack from The Talented Mr. Ripley for her copy of the Geisha soundtrack. I've owned the movie for a year, the book for longer than that, just never got around to it. I thought it was in subtitles, and honestly, my eyes just don't wanna do subtitles much.

DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB. I put the movie in yesterday (been recovering from strep throat) ... I watched the movie once through with my mouth open, I hit play again, I ended up entranced, enthralled, mesmerized by the film, the story, the scenery, the details of the Geisha life, training, costuming, dance, three times in a row. Then I went directly to my studio, inserted the soundtrack into my CD player, and arted for 2 hours while listening to the music over and over. My 10-minute art piece was 100% about and inspired by Sayuri, the main character.


Veronica said...

I did like this movie also. I am glad to hear you are feeling a little bit better and I want to see your art inpsired my this lovely girl from teh movie