They all look the same...

Mark Nornes amnornes at
Mon Aug 30 10:43:58 EDT 2004

On Aug 30, 2004, at 5:58 PM, Alex Zahlten wrote:

> I'd like to hear some thoughts on what is actually objectionable to the
> casting of memoirs as it stands-

I should jump back in at this point. I made the post wondering where 
the conversation might go. I suppose a nationalist or a racist might 
find the casting "objectionable." I might use the word "obnoxious."

But what I find of interest has come up here and there in the thread. A 
rhetoric of authenticity swirled around that book when it came out, and 
(at least American) viewers of the adaptation will undoubtedly be 
enjoying what they think is some kind of communion with Old Kyoto. In 
this sense, I find the casting wonderful.

John's anecdote about Rob Marshall's small crew scouting Kyoto and the 
art department buyer with the "eye" reveals their anticipation of this 
American audience's demand for "accuracy" and "authenticity." The 
producer's calculation is obvious. The casting will probably cut out 
any significant profits from this most important market for Hollywood 
productions, but they think catering to the desires of the book's fans 
will more than make up for it. As Mark says, this is still pretty 
surprising after the Last Samurai's success in Japan with iconographies 
of tradition.


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