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Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I have an issue with the trailer for Memoirs of a Geisha. Keep in mind, this is a film about JAPAN and JAPANESE people yet all of the alleged Japanese people don't even look Japanese! Maybe that's because they aren't! Isn't it obvious that Zhang Ziyi is Chinese or did the casting directors think that all Asians look alike, so who will notice? Being Japanese, I find myself slightly (but only slightly) offended by this casting choice. Keep in mind, typically I don't really care about issues like this, but this time, maybe because of the subject of the film, it just doesn't seem right. Maybe it would be one thing of Zhang Ziyi was the only Chinese person with any prominence in the film, but after watching the trailer, very few of the actors appear to be Japanese. Out of eight of the principal characters, only half are Japanese:

Ziyi Zhang.... Sayuri Nitta (Chinese)
Ken Watanabe.... The Chairman (Japanese)
Kôji Yakusho.... Nobu (Japanese)
Michelle Yeoh.... Mameha (Chinese)
Kaori Momoi.... O-kami (landlady) (Japanese)
Youki Kudoh.... O-Kabo (Pumpkin) (Japanese)
Li Gong.... Hatsumomo (Chinese)
Kenneth Tsang... General (Chinese)

I suppose I expect this fictional-historical film to be more authentic. With the many talented Japanese actors out there, I would have liked to have seen more of them cast in this film. My expectations are unrealistic though, I know. I'm all for the idea of chosing the best actor for the role, but at the same time, actors like Zhang Ziyi look too authentically Chinese to even resemble being Japanese. Did anyone notice that Zhang Ziyi has blue eyes in this poster? Though Japan has many advances before the rest of the world, I don't think they had colored contact lenses in the 1800's. C'mon people. I mean, REALLY!? Of course, this is Hollywood, so...why the heck am I complaining? I should know better!


Mitch Glaser said...

I blame the white man.

Tianyi Wang said...

As a Chinese, I'm not too excited about the Chinese casting either. Especially since the Chinese actresses arent' able to hide their Chinese accents. On the other hand, I support my fellow gals!

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