10/10/12: Memoirs of a Geisha

Geisha [As older Japanese woman] “We must not expect happiness. When life goes well, it is a sudden gift. It is not something we deserve. We must cherish beauty. It cannot last forever. The heart, like the body of a pretty young woman, dies a slow death. Shedding each hope like leaves until one day there are none: No hopes; nothing remains. I know. I was a stunning Playboy Bunny once. But that was a long, long, long, long time ago. This was me at party on 10/29/77. Bunny My beauty: It is lost forever. As a little girl, I found a cave in the woods that I would go to for solitude. MOAG - Cave There was a poem called Loss carved into one of the cave walls. It had 3 words, but the poet scratched them out. MOAG - Poem You cannot read Loss – only feel it. 39 years ago, I was on my way to Theater. I was a lovely young girl with a chance for happiness. I hope it is not too late. Don’t be afraid to look at me. Can’t you still see the enchanting girl in black? Do not be sad that time has taken its toll on her. It is too pretty a day to be unhappy. Smile for me, won’t you? I am not worthless! In the last act, we sell our skills, not our bodies. We must create our own secret world, our own Cave of Solitude: A place only of beauty. A story like mine should never be told. I wasn’t born a Performance Artist Blogger. Like so much in my life, I was carried here by the current. To be a Performance Artist Blogger is to be like a Geisha: To be judged as a moving work of art. But now Paulie paints her face to hide her face. Paulie is an Artist of the Floating World. She entertains you; whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret. She relates to you her stories merely to entertain. It cannot be called happiness. After all these are not the Memoirs of a Playboy Bunny. These are Memoirs of Another Kind. When I get back to my cave, I’ll remove the paint from my face with water. MOAG - Wash Water is powerful: It can carve its way through stone; MOAG - Stone wash away earth; MOAG - Mud put out fire; MOAG - Fire even produce tears:” MOAG - Cry [Dramatic] “Tears of joy; tears of grief; tears of rage; tears of years. “1 year: then another & another & another!” “In the end there’s just a song/ Comes crying up the night/Through all the broken dreams/And vanished years/ Stella Blue.”

[Normal] Costuming, makeup & hair design: The difference between an aging Geisha & a Playboy Bunny; and the keys to Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha, Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang), MOAG - Sayuri born impoverished Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo)  in 1920. Her best friend is her sister Satsu (Samantha Futerman). MOAG - Satsu The sisters get separated when she becomes Maiko (apprentice Geisha) Chiyo in Mother’s (Kaori Momoi) MOAG - Mother Okiya (Maiko & Geisha boarding house). She’s 9 when she meets the Chairman (Ken Watanabe) who’s accompanied by Geisha. When he buys her a cherry ice, MOAG - Ken she’s resolved to become a Geisha too. While Auntie (Tsai Chin) MOAG - Auntie trains her, she befriends Pumpkin (Zoe Weizenbaum & Yûki Kudô)

 & malicious Geisha Hatsumomo (Gong Li)  tests her will, but she never forgets Satsu. The movie was nominated for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and John Williams Score in 2006 at the 78th Academy Awards; and won for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Colleen Atwood’s MOAG - Atwood Costume Design. Geisha didn’t wear the full lipstick portrayed in the movie until the Western influence on Japanese culture in the ‘60s, perhaps accounting for its absence as a Best Makeup Nominee, even though all 250 Atwood-created kimonos are more artistic than realistic. 67 year old Atwood won Oscars for Rob Marshall’s Chicago (’03) MOAG - Chicago and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (’11); MOAG - Alice and has 8 more nominations, her 1st in ’95 for Little Women. MOAG - LW A late film-bloomer, her 1st movie gig at 32 was Wardrobe Production Assistant on A Little Sex; MOAG - Sex first as Costume Designer – Firstborn MOAG - 1st at 35. So watch the trailer below, then add Rob Marshall’s film to your Netflix Queue to see her kimonos, the visual Memoirs of a Geisha. 4 Stars!



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