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History Trivia / MemoirsOfAGeisha

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* CreatorBacklash: The geisha expert who had advised on the film later admitted that it wasn't made for a Japanese audience, and anyone who knew anything about Japanese culture would be "appalled" by it.


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* DawsonCasting: Ziyi Zhang was in her mid-twenties and plays Sayuri from the age of fifteen to thirty-five.
* DearNegativeReader: Ziyi Zhang gave an outspoken defence of the film, especially that directed towards her casting:
--> A director is only interested in casting someone he believes is appropriate for a role. For instance, my character had to go from age 15 to 35; she had to be able to dance, and she had to be able to act, so he needed someone who could do all that. I also think that regardless of whether someone is Japanese or Chinese or Korean, we all would have had to learn what it is to be a geisha, because almost nobody today knows what that means—not even the Japanese actors on the film. ''Geisha'' was not meant to be a documentary. I remember seeing in the Chinese newspaper a piece that said we had only spent six weeks to learn everything and that that was not respectful toward the culture. It's like saying that if you're playing a mugger, you have to rob a certain number of people. To my mind, what this issue is all about, though, is the intense historical problems between China and Japan. The whole subject is a land mine. Maybe one of the reasons people made such a fuss about Geisha was that they were looking for a way to vent their anger
* DisownedAdaptation: Mineko Iwasaki, whose interviews were the basis for the story, was furious at her name being included in the acknowledgments (she had agreed to be interviewed under confidential basis). She was especially annoyed at the story making her seem like a prostitute, and the resulting friendships she lost and death threats received.


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* LoopingLines: In order to fix some of the pronunciation problems in the dialogue recorded on set, syllables and clips from other lines in the film had to be edited to make them more audible (a lot of the cast only spoke partially-phonetic English on set). The sound editors earned an Oscar nomination for this achievement.


*** Potential Japanese actresses did not show up for the audition because most of them did not believe they had what it took to play a profession attainable only by a selected few.

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*** Potential Japanese actresses did not show up for the audition because most of them did not believe they had what it took to play a profession attainable only by a selected few. Being a Geisha is absolutely considered SeriousBusiness.


** Potential Japanese actresses did not show up for the audition because most of them did not believe they had what it took to play a profession attainable only by a selected few.

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** *** Potential Japanese actresses did not show up for the audition because most of them did not believe they had what it took to play a profession attainable only by a selected few.

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** Potential Japanese actresses did not show up for the audition because most of them did not believe they had what it took to play a profession attainable only by a selected few.

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* AwesomeDearBoy: Composer example. The only film of John Williams's career where he has specifically asked to compose the music. Even passing on ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'' to do so.
* BannedInChina: The film was indeed banned in China for having Chinese actresses playing Japanese geishas.


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* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Despite criticism that the lead actresses were Chinese, producers had held an open casting for Japanese actresses to attend. None showed up so they were forced to cast other Asian nationalities.
** Steven Spielberg, Brett Ratner, Kimberly Peirce and Spike Jonze all considered directing the film. Rob Marshall almost didn't get to do it because he was contractually obligated to make another Miramax film after ''{{Film/Chicago}}''.
** Youki Koudoh auditioned for Sayuri, which went to Ziyi Zhang. But they liked her audition so much, they had her try for the role of Pumpkin. She ended up with that part.


* EnforcedMethodActing: MichelleYeoh's unexpected exit, following "If you are found to be worthless...!" according to the director's commentary. They told her to leave the room after delivering the line, but Ziyi Zhang wasn't told that she would do so. It worked — after shouting in reply "I am not worthless!", she started crying before tearfully repeating the line to the now empty room.

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* EnforcedMethodActing: MichelleYeoh's Creator/MichelleYeoh's unexpected exit, following "If you are found to be worthless...!" according to the director's commentary. They told her to leave the room after delivering the line, but Ziyi Zhang wasn't told that she would do so. It worked — after shouting in reply "I am not worthless!", she started crying before tearfully repeating the line to the now empty room.

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* CaliforniaDoubling: The movie was filmed mostly in California as present-day Kyoto was judged to be too modern-looking for the period. The Gion district seen in the film was an elaborate set built specifically for the movie.


* TheDanza: Creator/KenWatanabe plays the Chairman Ken Iwamura.



* FakeNationality: The three lead actresses are Chinese; Ziyi had to not only learn English for the role, but learn to speak it with a Japanese accent. While the actress who played the young Pumpkin is of Japanese origin she lives in America and had to learn how to speak in an Japanese accent as well.

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* FakeNationality: The three lead actresses are Chinese; Ziyi had to not only learn English for the role, but learn to speak it with a Japanese accent. While the actress who played the young Pumpkin is of Japanese origin she lives in America and had to learn how to speak in an Japanese accent as well. Averted though with important characters like the Chairman, Nobu and little Chiyo played by Japanese actors Ken Watanabe, Kōji Yakusho and Suzuka Ohgo.

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* EnforcedMethodActing: MichelleYeoh's unexpected exit, following "If you are found to be worthless...!" according to the director's commentary. They told her to leave the room after delivering the line, but Ziyi Zhang wasn't told that she would do so. It worked — after shouting in reply "I am not worthless!", she started crying before tearfully repeating the line to the now empty room.
* FakeNationality: The three lead actresses are Chinese; Ziyi had to not only learn English for the role, but learn to speak it with a Japanese accent. While the actress who played the young Pumpkin is of Japanese origin she lives in America and had to learn how to speak in an Japanese accent as well.
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