Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Asians have blue eyes?

I received an email from Banana Republic today touting their new Asian inspired fall collection to hype the opening of "Memoirs of a Geisha". Nothing special of course, "inspired" means watered down and Americanized till it blends in with all the rest of your black work clothes. What all American girl would want to own an understated and demure silk kimono evening gown that makes you look like a giant bat? There's no color no innovation, and a complete lack of attention to authenticity.

Thankfully the email included a link for the trailer which was somewhat redeeming. The movie certainly looks like it will be exciting, but it will be FRAUGHT WITH TRAGIC EMOTIONAL DRAMA which is so typical of Asian movies *yawn* (why can't we make "normal" movies that aren't so desperately tragic or stupidly slapstick?). Not to mention one of the movie posters depicts a blue eyed Zhang Zhi-Yi (they had contacts back then?) as Sayuri and all three major female roles are being played by Chinese women as opposed to Japanese. Almost the entire supporting cast is Japanese. Authenticity seems to be an issue with this whole enterprise. I am pleased to find that Zhi-Yi's English has improved greatly. Chinese actresses playing Japanese women in an English speaking film. I'm confused, aren't you?

fresh has introduced a line of cosmetics and bath products inspired by the film with no end of cheesey stereotypical Asianness in sight.


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