Dear Shaded Viewers,
The film described below is looking for crowd support, it is about the Geisha seen through a historical European lens
From the director:
It is night in Kyoto, in the dim glow of lanterns, gentle Cherry Blossoms fall and their delicate scent permeates the evening air. The faint sound of tinkling metal can be heard, and from a shadowy side street emerges a woman draped in luxurious silk. Hobbling down the small street she eventually disappears into the curtained doorway of a teahouse. For Centuries, Japan has been entranced and entertained by a high form of artist, to hire such an artist promises that a simple dinner party or function is enlivened and transported to a world of Ukiyo-e and Edo hedonism. The Geisha (or Geiko) are artists and entertainers: stunningly elegant enigmas found only in Japan, to see a Geiko or her apprentice (Maiko) scurrying through the streets is a special sight indeed, but to be entertained by a Geiko is often a rare honour. In the Western world no such artist has ever existed, no such feat has been attempted.
This project aims to interpret the Geiko tradition and filter it through a European historical lens. Such an artist will never have the chance to bloom without your help and generosity; the ability to create a living work of art is now in your hands.
To be clear, the Geisha are artists and entertainers of the highest esteem, proficient in all the traditional arts. Despite all their associated femininity it may surprise you to learn that the first Geisha were men: These men entertained the courtesans’ (Tayuu) customers at banquets and years into their invention females began to pick up on the trade. Over two centuries later and the Geiko’s popularity has eclipsed that of their past employers and they themselves have reached a high point in society. The revered and often mystery clad Geiko carry on centuries of traditions, and for an hourly fee, and with the right associations, one may indulge in these now rare arts. When at a banquet a Geiko provides a number of hospitable and entertaining services including musical performance, conversation, the pouring of drinks, dinner games and most importantly dance. Due to their much-feted luxurious and historical appearance as well as their competency in the arts, the Geiko are often described as “Moving Works of Art”.
In the western world we have been deprived of such artists, never have they existed, thus with much humility this project hopes to translate Japan’s revered Geiko into a very western artist. As the Tayuu and Geiko once borrowed traditions and appearances from the Imperial Court in Kyoto, this artist shall mirror and scour Versailles for traditions, look to Madame de Pompadour for inspiration and hope dearly to share a vision of a place seemingly so far back in time, if even in reality. The Autremondaine shall become proficient in a number of arts and shall offer to customers and guests, arts such as conversation, dinner games, prose, musical performance, poetry and most importantly dance. All aspects of the “Flower and Willow World” belonging to Japan will be filtered through a rococo lens as if having existed for centuries, ultimately culminating in a living Objet d’Art: The Autremondaine. With your generosity and interest a new sort of artist will have the ability to bloom, to honour its Japanese fore bearers and entrance its audience. These living, breathing works of art will serve culture, and transport their guests to a time and place much dreamed of but never experienced.
It is only with your kindness that the Autremondaine will bloom into existence, and it is with sincerity that I ask for your help.