They all look the same...

Kerim Yasar kerimyasar at
Mon Aug 30 23:00:22 EDT 2004

Still, by
> not trying to exceed those expectations, at least in
> their casting, the
> film's producers are setting
> themselves up for a fall in what could have been
> their biggest market.
> Mark Schilling

I'm not so sure that they're setting themselves up for
a fall in this market in the least.  I've never known
the Japanese to go see these foreign films about Japan
with the expectation, or even the hope, of seeing
themselves accurately represented.  Rather, they go
out of curiosity to see exactly HOW they've been
misrepresented, and I think that curiosity factor will
play out just as easily here as it did with, say, a
monstrosity like Pearl Harbor.  Besides which, much of
the target audience here (you know, those people who
spend their lives in rapt, luminous communion with
their cell phones) know about as much about geisha as
they do about Hegel.  I mean, if they can swallow Tom
Cruise getting all chummy with the Emperor, surely
they can swallow this?

As far as star power goes, as long as Watanabe is
there to fill out the bill, the young women will come.
 Zhang Ziyi is very popular in Japan at the moment,
and has even been singled out to represent the
quintessence of Asian womanhood in
the(Japanese-produced and oh-so-subtly-racist) Asience
commercials--you know, the ones where the ghastly
Western models sulk as Ziyi prances around the stage. 
As long as she's on the bill, the young men will come.

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