Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Current Reading

I just got to watch on DVD Memoirs of a Geisha with Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Watanabe, and Ziyi Zhang. I thought it was pretty good, but certain scenes have caused me to wonder if they fiddled with things for the sake of making a movie.

So first will do research and then read the book that spawned the movie. First on the reading list is a book that has lurked in my collection for several years now that I bought at a college book sale and all I have done is peek at certain sections. So now I am going to read it all. The book is called Meeting with Japan by Fosco Maraini, English translation published by The Viking Press in 1960. Maraini was an Italian professor who taught in Japan in the 1930s and 1940s. When Italy switched sides and joined the Allies, him and his family - wife and three daughters- were imprisoned. After the war he worked with the American occupation forces and later revisited Japan on his own. I gathered all this from just skimming the book, I expect to find many nuggets to emerge that shall enrich my understanding of Japan.

If anyone has other books to recommend, I would appreciate the feedback. Wish me luck. Jya ne!

For the adventurous here is the Japanese web site for Sayuri: Memoirs of a Geisha. Movie trailer may load erratically even with high speed connection.


Anonymous said...

I watched part of the movie with my wife, but couldn't finish it. I have a rare medical condition called adversinitis a chickus flickus. Break out in complete boredom when one is shown. I have to have at least one car chase, explosion or raging monster and tons of blood in my modern movies,OR .....................the old black and whites with some acting in them. Just watched "Bataan" with Robert Taylor and "Back to Bataan" with John Wayne, also have "Flying Leathernecks" and "They Were Expendible". Just think that there are really no actors or actresses in the modern generation, or they are few and far between ( to me, just a lot of pretty faces and plastic boobs). In the new movies, all you have to have is a couple of pretty faces, a lot of explosions and killings and a lot of special effects to make a movie. The old B&W's now seem corny now, but relied more on acting than special effects. This could be why the best movies these days are the computer generated ones.

Oh, back on topic, I spent 3 months in Japan in the late 60's, and just LOVED the country


Anna said...

That is what maks Memoirs of a Geisha different, no Hollyweird lets really blow things up. Instead lets try to make interesting characters carry a story.

Anyone for Wuthering Heights or Gone with the Wind? Or maybe Sands of Iwo Jima?

I would love to be able to visit Japan. :)

Moonbat aka Pekka said...

I don't know if I should even mention this but your name sounds Finnish and it would translate; The Red Anna. Ironic, isn't it? :). But then again, it works there in the States.

I been trying to think what I should recomend for your reading pleasure and I always come back to The Remains Of Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. It was adapted to a movie in 1993 by James Ivory and the two main characters were played by Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. Movie got raving rewiews but to me the book was much better. Dispite the author's name the book is deeply British and profoundly sad. Sadness is not kind of that you want to climb to attic and hang yourself. It's sadness that you feel for the main character who lives his life for not for himself but to his choosen profession - being a trusted butler. If by any chance you haven't read it, please do, you will not regret!

Anna said...

Red Anna huh? Rot Anna. Anna Rouge. Wild. Only reason I use annapuna for this blog/posting is because my usual nic of annapuma was taken by someone on Live Journal. Been using that name for like lots of years, tis my email address, and she stole it! Wah! :)

As for Remains of the Day, not watched it and I realize I should have been more specific. I am looking for other books on Japan to read. :) Gomen nasai Pekka-san, doumo arigato.