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"Making of a Geisha" featurette Response

Updated on January 16, 2015

"Making of a Geisha" featurette Response

The “Making of a Geisha” featurette fully expressed the reasoning behind the entire look of the Geisha in the movie, from the kimonos to the make-up, hair, and even the emotions and movements of the geishas. Geishas were the style icons of their time in the 1930’s; the movie crew did not want to achieve the complete reality of what the geishas looked like and how they were during those times rather they wanted to keep key Japanese authenticities and traditions of the Geisha but make it a modern impression.

Since Geishas were the style icons of their time, the director wanted that notion to be present but again to modernize them by making them high fashion with bigger, darker eyes, and fuller lips as if they were on a Paris runway. It is interesting to put the modern sexy twist on the Geisha because it was a time when a glimpse of a wrist was considered showing skin and being suggestive. The Geisha is more sexualized by showing more skin in the back and given a tighter waist.

The featurette shows how each part of the process of dressing up the Geisha is an art. Each kimono has several layers and a unique print with intricate details. Putting on the kimono takes a long time and moving in it is difficult and takes practice to learn how to move elegantly in it. The hair and make-up takes hours as well. They are really like walking pieces of extravagant Japanese artwork, each one similar but beautiful in their own unique ways.

Each Geisha in the movie had their own distinct persona and beauty, their hair, make-up, and dress were designed specifically to reflect that. It is almost like each Geisha represented a modern icon of beauty, for example the main character has a soft, youthful beauty, elegant and innocent, mentioned in the featurette to be the Audrey Hepburn of the Geishas. Her hair-dos are more girlish, her kimonos many of them blue to represent moodiness.

The director said it is all about the look and how it seduces. Geishas are unique forms of beauty with their white make-up, perfect hair, and layers of dress. They exude mystery and he explores their beauty and emphasizes their seductive qualities. The old tradition of the Geisha is modernized, shown in their absolute beauty, artistic form, each in its individuality, and sexuality. The goals are the art and beauty of the Geisha to be kept authentic and true but as seen through our modern eyes.

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