Maiko wa redy
Release : Sep-13-2014 Duration : 135min.
©︎2014 Fuji Television Network, Toho, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, Dentsu, The Kyoto Shimbun, Kyoto Broadcasting System, Altamira Pictures
Director : Masayuki Suo (Shall We Dance?) Screenplay : Masayuki Suo (TALKING THE PICTURES) Cinematography : Rokuro Terada (A TERMINAL TRUST)
Eighteen Years after "Shall We Dance?"
an entertainment-packed return to form a Musical-Comedy?
Masayuki Suo's keen eye for human foibles and incredibly thorough research skills have delivered consistent laughs and surprises and made him into one of Japan's most entertaining directors. Be it a city boy turned trainee Buddhist monk in "Fancy Dance" (1989) or a reluctant student joining in the tribulations of a struggling Sumo club in "Sumo Do, Sumo Don't" (1992), his underdog heroes have never failed to win audience's hearts. The success of "Shall We Dance?" (1996) hardly needs mentioning. The story of the initially hapless would-be ballroom dancer not only brought in an incredible $35 million at the domestic box-office, it also created a nation-wide dance boom and went on to be the subject of a big budget Hollywood remake which put Suo in the international spotlight. 2007's "I Just Didn't Do It" took Japan's legal system to task in an examination of perils of false accusations and was rewarded with 30 major film awards. In 2009, his documentary "Dancing Chaplin" captured the eternal charm of ballet. "A Terminal Trust" (2012) pitched darker in its portrayal of love at a time of terminal medical care.
And now, after 20 year's gestation, his latest project, "Maiko A Lady?(tentative title)" has finally made it onto film. Initially conceived as the third in a loose trilogy of "Fancy Dance" and "Sumo Do, Sumo Don't", Suo says he was motivated to make a film about women striving to succeed against all odds. His mind hit upon the cloistered world of apprentice geisha or "Maiko". Although he set about finding the right girl to carry the role, he was unsuccessful and the project went onto the back burner. Many years later, he was to have an encounter that inspired him to get the project back into production.
Sing your heart out, dance your socks off...
it's time to let yourself go!
"Ere...make me one of them posh Maiko, won't ya?"
(transl.) "I wonder if I might prevail upon you to allow me to become a "Maiko" geisha-trainee?"
One day, in the traditional heart of Kyoto, a rough-hewn country lass turns up in search of the impossible. Through her impenetrable accent...a mix of deep Southern and far Northern, she begs to be given a chance to become the epitome of cultural sophistication; a Kyoto geisha.
When a good-natured professor of linguistics rises to the challenge of helping her, we embark on a roller-coaster ride as the girl struggles through the harsh training and stern discipline required to make the grade. After a 20 year gestation in the mind of that master of entertainment, Masayuki Suo ("Shall We Dance?"), this project is a fun-filled delight. This Autumn, be sure to watch out for the incredible performance of absolute newcomer, Mone Kamishiraishi.
Greetings and welcome to this peek into the exclusive world of geisha entertainers!