Memoirs of a Geisha: A Portrait of the Film

David James, Photographer, Rob Marshall, Introduction by, Arthur Golden, Introduction by , photos by David James, text by Peggy Mulloy. Newmarket $40 (144p) ISBN 978-1-55704-683-3

Arthur Golden's 1997 tale appealed to director Marshall (Chicago ) for the same reasons it attracted millions of readers: because it "not only peers into the fascinating and forbidden world of a geisha's life in 1930s Japan, but also tells the emotional tale of one particular girl's journey." This accompanying volume to the forthcoming film based on the book will certainly enchant fans. In his introduction, Golden recalls how "curious" it was for him to walk around a full-scale geisha district of the 1930s built on a field in California and know that such a detailed set grew out of his grueling experience writing the novel. A history of the geisha comes next, and then a portfolio of images from the film, some quite striking (such as the one of geisha practicing movements with fans, hair down, relaxed in their dressing robes and lit from behind). The book's final portion is devoted to the making of the film, with archival images of geisha, a concept illustration of a cherry-blossom-viewing party and notes on how, for example, the structural surfaces of the buildings on the set were sandblasted to add texture and age. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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