(this is the best clip online I could find...)
I love "My Geisha". It has a ton of controversy...true. And it's terribly incorrect (if we look at the PC of it). But the production and makeup and costumes are insanely lovely. And there's a lot of back story. I don't want to give away the entire story, and I usually don't write about the plot so much, but I think i need to here. Shirley MacLaine plays Lucy, a Hollywood star married to her successful director husband played by Yves Montand. They usually work together and have had success, but now he's onto a new project, doing a remake of Madame Butterfly. Lucy wants to play the lead, but Yves tells her she can't pull it off and he'd rather hire a real Japanese girl. So Shirley goes to prove him wrong. And so it goes. This film was actually filmed in Japan, which makes it even more amazing. The colors are insane, gorgeous, cherry blossom. The costumes are all done by Edith Head and she does the most amazing job with a room of Geishas (Oscar nominated in 1963 for Best Costume Design). And Shu Uemura got his big break here. This was his first big US gig as a pro makeup artist. He is the one who transformed Shirley into a Japanese girl. It's very impressive. There's a post tomorrow about Shu and more on his "My Geisha" experience. But, can you imagine being on set...with Edith Head and Shu Uemura...in Japan...working on a Geisha-esque film? Magic...
There is a gorgeous shot from high in the air of a hundred Geisha-like girls hanging around a dozen cherry blossomed trees. It's amazing. This first photo must be a press shot of Shirley working on her lines. Because I don't remember it in the movie...just look at the cheeky look on her face. ♡
These pics do not do the film any justice. Rent it (or buy it)...really.
The first look at Shirley as a Geisha. I love the headpiece.
Yves Montand who plays Shirley MacLaine's director husband
Just look at this house! And I especially love this scene for Shirley's outfit of pink and orange with the GIANT pearls.