The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

Inspiration Part 5-Live Action Film is Rare in Japan

Currently known for it’s anime and live action horror films, Japan had a director that blew the socks off of Hollywood: Akira Kurosawa. Other then Kurosawa’s work, there’s not much I can show as far as live action unfortunately. There are other films but, they’re difficult to find. I am still looking for The Yuki Onna and Ugetsu on dvd. However, I can at least show you Kurosawas wonderful 5 story fantasy film, Dreams. It’s marvelous. Enjoy the pics!

Yuki Onna! Oyasumi, Nami chan.

This pic below is from another film called Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.

There isn’t much else I can think of in regards to live action from Japan. This presented a problem for WB casting directors in the states who had to cast Chinese actresses for Memoirs of a Geisha, because their aren’t enough well known Japanese actresses. Believe me, I LOVE Gong Li and I enjoyed her performance as Hatsumomo– but she and the rest of the leading ladies are not Japanese. Many people in the Japanese-American community were offended. I think it resurfaced the Western inability to determine the physical difference between the cultures. I still can’t unless traditional costumes are worn. Then again, I get conflicting advice from my Indonesian friend who says: “Stop stressing about it. We’re all the same people!” Thank Aggie.

I love anime as much as the next otaku, but it would be nice to see another live action master from Japan. Perhaps a director will give us Geisha: a Life by Mineko Iwasaki. It’s a great book and the authentic telling of a geisha’s career and role in society. Geisha/Artists are not silken clad prostitutes. Misuage… indeed!


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