On Saturday night I went to see Sakuran at the ICA. It was the UK premiere of the film dubbed as the ‘Anti-Memoirs of a Geisha’ and, having seen the trailer, I was really keen to go and see it!

Sakuran is based on a manga series created by Moyoco Anno, which I have to confess I had not heard of before (but would like to read now!) and the film was the directorial debut for photographer Mika Ninagawa.

It was a good film, although I would have to say that the story was the weakest part.  However, I thought the visuals were stunning, and I really enjoyed the soundtrack too.

I don’t know if I can realy do the film justice in trying to review it, but I found it interesting that it was being called the ‘Anti-Memoirs of a Geisha’, and would have to agree with that description.  In Sakuran, the maiko are courtesans and prostitutes, it’s bright, pacey and visually exciting, and the soundtrack makes you forget you’re watching a film about an age gone by.  Don’t watch it expecting floaty images of Kyoto – you won’t find them.  Instead, you’ll get bitch-fights, blood and a very sassy leading lady.

Watch it!


2 thoughts on “Sakuran

  1. Don’t know how I missed knowing of this! It seems it doesn’t get a release until August. damn.

    I’m not sure that you can call them Maiko-san.
    Judging by the costumes, the sash ties in the front and the hair ornaments, these look like Yuujyo, prostitutes. Working out of an altogether different quarter of southeast Kyoto.

    At least this film and story is by Japanese for Japanese.
    Although I see the tastes are more modern in that the white makeup is more subtle and the teeth don’t seem to be blackened.


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