Thursday, March 09, 2006

World of Geisha

World of Geisha by Tatsumi Kumashiro (1973).

My second movie by this director, the other being Street of Joy. Both of these movies are called as "nikku roman porno".
Starring Junko Miyashita, prolific actress and queen of the nikku roman porno who also performed in A Woman Called Sada Abe, Watcher in the Attic, Street of Joy (three of them are recommended) and many others that I still haven't watched yet.

World of Geisha is rather short like many of the genre - it runs just over 60 mins.
It is set in 1917, just before the Russo-Japanese war in a geisha house.

As an introduction, a voice of a woman sings "Princess Anju asked the girl : How did you feel ? As if intoxicated, she answered, I felt as if I were a little bird waiting for spring". Then a few words which are like a tip and an advice from an older geisha to a novice are written "About men, it's not their man's looks, About men, it's their money that matters to them", "Don't get cheated by a man's looks, About Men, money's all that matters to them", words that are repeated by the older geigha to her young, unexperienced geisha.
Yet, the rule will be broken when Sodeko (Junko Miyashita), an experienced geisha, receives a new client for the first time.
As they are about to live an intense pleasure, news about the rice riot are announced...
The guest wisely proposes "Let's go to bed while it's still safe."
Title and credits... World of Geisha.

Despite the warning of beginning "Don' fall for your first client" (they only must pretend to be excited), she got sexually excited... several times.
While they are having sex, short portraits of the everyday life of geishas are intermingled and sexual, erotic scenes are associated with the current events of the time depicted by still images of rice riots, Korean uprisings, and the Japanese invasion to Siberia in 1918.
Some of these scenes are rather historical and politically evocative, such as the scene of a man, named as buffoon, who entertains a guest with several geishas by telling him some erotic, until the guest asks him to hang himself in order to demonstrate how women feel when they get too excited : his hanging is directly connected with another hanging scene, "the banzai incident". Other scenes also depict the relations between sex and money, such as the quite funny scene of a geisha performing a danse, sitting on a pile of coins which she manages to push up her vagina and then let the coins out one by one...
Shot mostly in sequence shots (making more like a succession of short scenes), with eventually some close-ups, and mainly indoors and hardly lit (especially for the sex scenes), the film finishes quite abruptly.

Also recently seen : Jigoku (Hell) by Nobuo Nakagawa (1960), a horror film in which the second part offers some quite interesting visions and imagery of hell.



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