fred flare rocks

I just wanted to say that I now have more reason to love Fred Flare. I’ve always liked their merchandise, but who knew they were a great company to boot? I participated in Pinku‘s pink earring exchange earlier this summer, and apparently the people at Fred Flare thought that was so great they offered to send each participant a pair of earrings! I got mine the other day:
fredflare ears.JPG
Okay, now for a random, non-knitting-related rant: Today I read that they are going forward with making Memoirs of a Geisha into a film, and that they cast two Chinese actresses in the roles. While I don’t really really object to that, it annoys me somewhat, because there are many differences between China and Japan, and hello, geisha are from JAPAN. What is up with this interchangeability of Asians? I guess I should be more annoyed about the book itself, a fictitious account written by a white male (not that I am completely against white males writing about different cultures, but you know what I mean). I did read the book, and I have to admit there weren’t that many instances where I wanted to hurl the book across the room, but still, the whole geisha/male fantasy thing is rather irksome. Okay, rant over. I’m going to go dig around for some chocolate now.

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17 Responses to fred flare rocks

  1. Lauren says:

    I felt the same way about the book. I mean, it was a good story, and it was pretty well written, but the whole idea was just the tiniest bit off. It seemed kind of presumptuous, maybe? I don’t know.
    And that is totally ridiculous about the Chinese actresses.

  2. Sho says:

    I guess the interchangeability of Asians is about having high-profile stars (or at least familiar actors) in the movie. I know I’d rather see the casting director pick a Japanese actress over a Chinese or Korean one, but are there any well-known (in America) actresses of Japanese descent? It’s ridiculous, but I guess that’s the way Hollywood seems to play… for now, at least.
    Anyway, I guess Zhang Ziyi from Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon will play the title role.
    And at least they didn’t choose Lucy Liu. Or David Caradine for that matter.

  3. Elaine says:

    I did feel ripped off when I found out it wasn’t actually the memoirs of a Geisha and that ending! Oy vey. You probably feel the same way I do when Catherine Zeta Jones gets cast as a hispanic in movies. I’m surprised they didn’t try to cast her in this movie.

  4. Lizzi says:

    I was more pissed off when I found out that the retired geisha the author had interviewed during his research had asked to remain anonymous….and he went ahead and thanked her by name in the acknowledgements, so she basically became an outcast among their little society for spilling their secrets. She wrote her own book, which I haven’t read, but from the reviews I read it’s supposed to be fairly good.
    I know they originally cast a young Japanese dancer as Sayuri–what happened to her?

  5. kat says:

    Glad you got your earrings!! I’ve got my little pink hearts on right now!!
    BTW, I felt TOTALLY cheated when I found out that book was total fabrication (ok. loosely based on truth). I read a much better book about geisha called “Geisha: A Life” by Mineko Iwasaki (a real life geisha). Supposedly she was horrified by Golden’s book so wrote this one to counter it!!!

  6. jenn says:

    Is it really going to be Zhang Ziyi?!? I really dislike her as an actor. I especially can’t see her playing a Japanese girl.
    I don’t understand this fixation on having big-name actors for movies. Isn’t it better to have a *good* actor, perhaps of the correct national decent… Rather than “Oh, she’s Asian, and she was really good in that one movie.” I hate the whole Hollywood thing.
    Right, I’ll stop now. You touched a nerve there, Mariko. Whoo. Sorry.

  7. Jessica says:

    Wes and I have been ranting over this for days. It’s three Chinese actresses–Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li! At least now they have a few Japanese and Japanese-American actors attached to it. They still have a call out for the young version of Sayuri. Know any really beautiful 11 year old girls? Any nationality will do.
    I did enjoy the book in a fantasy kind of way. “Snow Falling on Cedars” made me insane with it’s perfect-clean-humble-hard working-no personality version of Japanese characters.

  8. Sharlene says:

    Oh, don’t get me started… this book annoyed me for so many reasons. The ones you mentioned and so many others. And when Hollywood makes the movie they are going to imbue 21st century American values into the story and emphasize the rivalry between women and the “fighting for a man” aspect. Yuck.

  9. Silvia says:

    Perhaps they had to hire three Chinese acresses when Claire Daines, Liv Tyler and Jessica Simpson were all to busy…
    It does seem a bit insensitive to not have at least one Japanese woman as the star. Seems like they could have looked harder until they found the right people. Of course, I’ve got about three copies of this book and still haven’t read it…

  10. mindy says:

    This is pretty much par for the course in Hollywood when they cast ‘ethnic’ – true ethnicity doesn’t seem to matter all that much. Al Pacino has played Italian-American and Cuban; Lou Diamond Phillips has played Mexican-American and Native American; Ben Kingsley has played Eastern European Jewish and Indian.
    Hey, at least the actresses are Asian. Remember Katherine Hepburn and Agnes Moorehead in ‘Dragon Seed?’ Not to mention Linda Hunt in ‘The Year of Living Dangerously.’

  11. Jennifer says:

    The thing I can’t get past is that the lead in the movie simply does not *look* Japanese at ALL to me. It’s not a matter of being able to pass as a young Japanese woman–it just doesn’t look right. After many years of living in Japan, I cringe when I still hear comments about all Japanese people looking alike (ack!), or not being able to tell the difference among Asians from different countries. Then again, I hear many Japanese people say that Caucasians look alike, and that it is difficult for them to tell “us” apart. Food for thought.

  12. Gina says:

    I hear your rant. Dare I mention Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany?

  13. julie says:

    In addition to casting Chinese actors for Japanese parts, I am really NOT looking forward to seeing a Hollywood depiction of Asian people. I am so sick of the fetishizing of Asian women in western society. It makes me want to punch someone.

  14. MJ says:

    My thoughts exactly with the rest of the comments. Dreamworks should have at least auditioned actors in Japan, not just used familiar names. It’s a kind of inconsideration and lack of common sense that I can’t understand. Oh well.
    Hold off on the digging, your candy is coming!

  15. nicole says:

    Unfortunately it seems that Hollywood is preoccupied with ‘big names’ rather than an accuracy in telling stories.
    That erks me.
    Well I’m sure this will go down well in Japan, particularly in light of the recent riots at the Japan-China soccer game.
    Anyone know how the book was received in Japan? If it was available in Japan?

  16. Em says:

    I am so glad kat came in with the comment about “Geisha: A Life” because I haven’t read Memoirs and didn’t want to, for the same reasons others found it irksome. This is the first time I’ve heard about the movie, and I am incensed. It’s to be expected, of course, but I think it’s one thing when Italians play Jews and vice versa, and when white people play ethnicities already underrepresented in Hollywood, and another when the casting of a movie reinforces the insult that “they all look alike.” OK, rant aside, I’m wondering now if they’re going to include some serious martial arts in the movie.

  17. holly says:

    hi, i’m an occasional lurker, de-lurking to share this little tidbit with you: the other day my mom came into my room asking me “who was the guy in crouching tiger hidden dragon?” when i said “you mean chow yun fat?” “yeah him. was he the guy in the last samurai?” “chow yun fat is chinese.” “yeah but wasn’t he in the last samurai?” :\

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