Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Memoirs of A Desperate Non-Smoker

What a beautiful movie. I went to see it on Sunday after work and it was the best thing.
Some of you might know my love for Japan and the geishas. For that reason I have read a few books about them and Memoirs of A Geisha had taken my breath away... The descriptions are very vivid and the story is just a pure page-turner.

The movie justifies the book in a beautiful way. It focuses mainly on the drama and less at the rituals and traditions. After reading the book eight years ago, I couldn't wait for the movie.
I was waiting to see the beautifully described ceremonies, rituals and the lavish kimono fittings.
The preparation of Chio to become the Geisha Sayuri is pictured in a quick and powerful juxtaposition, with dynamic music and strong colours, but for me it was too quick. Because it takes a large part of the book I was expecting more. More ceremonies, more wigs, more kimonos, more tea rituals.

That doesn't mean that the movie is poor of lovely pictures. As you can see from the photos I selected, the photography is just magical. Like out of a Japanese painting. On the left is a photo from Sayuri's inaugural performance. The actual scene in the movie is very powerful and Ziyi Zhang is gorgeous and moves like she is made out of elastic.
The scene with Sayuri and the Chairman above was the most romantic of the movie.
But the most important thing of the movie is the casting. Ziyi Zhang is Sayuri-full stop. "Baddie" Geisha Hatsumomo is played by the incredible Gong Li. Mameha is gloriously portrayed by the ex-Bond girl Michelle Yeoh. The Chairman is played by a handsome and very attractive Ken Watanabe. But most of all the performances, the one that takes your breath away is the one by the 12 year old Suzuka Ohdo. She makes a difficult and dark half of the film to flow quickly and easily.

All in all a beautiful film, but not as good as the book. I would suggest you go watch it though, for the reasons I mentioned above. If you haven't read the book, you'll love it. I would definitely recommend the book.
I am going to read it again and wait for the DVD with hopefully lots of extra features!!!

As I'm writing this I'm also watching the first episode of Desperate Housewives-Series 2. I am so happy it started again.
I love the fact it combines mystery, comedy and hunks!
Yes, I know we're quite behind here in the UK, but think of it: in Greece they don't even know about it!
The new episode is already awesome, so many things happening... W-O-W!

Also, I have finally updated the Quiiiiit blog. Every time I do, I will have the following icon pasted on this blog, so you'll know when to visit. So, come on, what are you waiting for? Hit it!

Updated Quiiiiit Blog


PTfan said...

You are an excellent writer! AND, I am always impressed withhow you set up your blog with all the fancy, schmancies! Very cool!

PTfan said...

Oh, forgot to say, I love your title here!

Dale said...

Hi Marietta

I'm right behind PTfan, I see!

Memoirs of a Geisha is on my list of books to read. I've got one on the go right now, but I'll get on it as soon as I can.

Have a wonderful evening.
Good night.


Princess Lo said...

i will definitely have to go check out that book and movie!!! OH and desperate housewives--i can't get enough!!!

Tausha71979 said...

Hey Marietta!

Ooh I have been wanting to see this movie! My sister read the book & saw the movie. She loved it, & now to see your review makes me want to see it even more! Just the preview alone on television, takes my breath away! Thanks for the review:) Ooh I love that you are putting an icon when you other blog is updated:) I will have to check that out, talk to you soon sweets


Kid Ric said...

Hello my friend,

Sounds like you had a wonderful time at the movie.

My translator must be a lot of fun. Artistic arsons? LOL.

Peace, love and light,

JoeBoy said...

Japan is a culture that is very interesting. I also love the different cuisines of Japan. Sounds like a must see movie. It will probably be out on DVD before I am getting about again.

Dale said...

Hey Marietta!

I saw your comment on Anne-Marie's blog. I like the "Cathy & Philip went to the bakery".
It sounds like my old (old) French class in elementary school.
We had this old overhead projector with Marie et Paul Thibault...

Take care.


Anne-Marie said...

Hi Marietta,
Thanks for the review! I saw the trailer for it two weeks ago and thought it looked like a visual feast. If you love mysteries, may I recommend Mo Hayder's "The Devil of Nanking"? It's not beautiful in quite the same way, but I love her writing and it is an unsettling account of certain sections of modern Japan and some recent history with China.


greekzoe said...

Have you considered a career in being an entertainment reporter? You missed your calling there!

I have not seen the movie. I really don't watch movies that much but reading your description is almost as good!!

Hope you have a great weekend!!


greekzoe said...


That is so cool that you did reporting part time in Greece, I know when I see a professional!!:)

Too bad you can't do it in the UK. But never say never!

I won't be around to read about your Titanic disaster at your house this weekend. I'll see it on Monday though!

Have an excellent weekend!!


Elaine said...

Great movie review. I'll probably read the book first.
Sorry to hear about the kitchen flood. How awful. Sounds like you'll have to eat take out for awhile. The silver lining.

Dale said...

Oh, Marietta

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitchen - floods can cause so much damage & such messes.

I hope it all dries out for you.

Thank you for your kind comments. I am hopefully on my way to feeling better. It's been pretty rotten.

I've been home & able to blog lots, though. To quote Elaine, there's the "silver lining".

Hang in there & I'm looking forward to your new post when you are able.


P.S. How do you like my new look?

E.L. Wisty said...

Hmm...Thanks for the detailed review! If this opens here, looks like money is not wasted if I go see it. Interesting thing about the 12 year old's role. Children are not always natural in films but when they are the result is magnificent.

AlianaDrex said...

I can't wait to see this. Though it never lives up to the book because I have such a vivid imagination that it is never as clear as I see it in my head.
HA! That sounds a bit unstable doesn't it? Oh well!
Have a great weekend.

blue said...

Hi Marietta!

I'm going to see "Memories of a Geisha" film tomorrow.
I will catch up my comment later.

And I love Desparate...., too!
Makes me exciting. It is on air every Wednesday night.It has already been started series 2 in UK!!

xoxo Tomoko

Mike S said...

Hi Marietta,

Believe it or not I almost missed
the entire smash.As WGFA was winding down I decided to make
a dash for the restroom only for
a guy to grab my arm as I was going up the stairs and had me
turn around.I caught it just as
Pete's arms and guitar was raised
above his head.Whew!! Close call!LOL!

Mark T said...

Hi Marietta, although I haven't seen the film, what an excellent write up. I think you should write some pieces for magazines. Maybe visit a country and do a piece on it and try to sell it. Easy for me to say though. A boring weekend so far. Oh well, have to have bad ones to compare the good ones with. Hope your weekend is good. Mark

BallerinaGurl said...

I love your review. I am super excited to see this film and have not been able to break away to do so. Kids and family will do that to you!

Title is catchy and later tonight I will check out your other blog!


Meg said...

I haven't seen the movie yet but I read the book a few years ago and I absoultely loved it. I am looking forward to seeing the movie.

blue said...

Hi Marietta,

I'm back from the movie theater.
SAYURI(Japanese title) is so sad, but so beautiful and dramatic.
I feel her life is like a small boat on a river. Among bad weather, wild waves she kept loving Chairman.Purest LOVE...

Talking about Suzuka Ohgo, I completely agree with you! Her performance took my breath away, too.My heart has been stolen by her.I wanted to see her more. How she learn and experience things for becoming Geisha.

Michelle Yeoh(Maeha) is so COOL!!
I'm interested in her strategy as Geisha. She is like a business executive.I love her.

Geisha system is so unique. It makes hard to keep their own way to live. SAYURI made it.She is a real Geisha..

xoxo Tomoko

P.S. A pic Chiyo running among the countless red gates is my favorite scene.The beautiful gates is standing at FUSHIMI Shrine in KYOTO.Don't miss, when you come to Japan!!