A few weeks ago, I picked up a case-less copy of Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) in a charity shop… and while I was reading up on Samantha Futerman for yesterday’s post, I realised she was in the cast, and decided it to give it a spin.
The film begins in pre-WWII Japan, with two young sisters being sold by their father to a travelling slave-trader, who whisks them away to the big(ish) smoke. The younger sister, ‘Chiyo’ (Suzuka Ohgo), is taken off his hands by an okiya house, to be trained up as a geisha, but the elder sister, ‘Satsu’ (Futerman), is rejected by the house’s “Auntie” (Tsai Chin), and carried away, crying her eyes out, to become a prostitute in the “pleasure district”. After a few delays, Chiyo tracks Satsuo down, and they arrange to run away together… but while she’s sneaking out of the house, Chiyo falls off the roof, and ends up too injured to escape. Presumably the desperate Satsuo left without her, but she’s never seen or heard from again (either in the film, or the novel it’s based on)… which is a shame, because I can’t help thinking her story might have been a damn sight more interesting than the one we’re stuck with here. In fact, the travails of the grown-up Chiyo (Zhang Ziyi) were so boring, they made my DVD player freeze up around the end of the first hour, and refuse to go any further! I had to perform a “hard reset” (i.e., turn it off and on again) just to get the disc out again… at which point I was faced with a choice: Either I could clean the disc more thoroughly and watch it through to the end, to see if Chiyo ever did land the pervy “Prince Charming” who’d become her all-consuming ambition… or I could cut my losses, and bung some more Stargate on instead. I opted for the latter.
However, while we’re on the subject of estranged siblings, I was fascinated to discover that Futerman herself was recently reunited with a “separated-at-birth” twin-sister she never knew she had! They were born in South Korea, and adopted as babies… with Futerman being raised in America, and her sister, Anaïs Bordier, being raised in France, knowing nothing of the other’s existence. Then, a year or so ago, Bordier saw Futerman in a YouTube video and was struck by the uncanny resemblance, in both their physical appearance and mannerisms. She contacted the actress on FaceBook, prompting the two of them to uncover their familial connection, which has now been confirmed by a DNA test. The super-cute sisters have just finished raising funds (via Kickstarter) to produce a documentary about their incredible experience, titled Twinsters… so yay for them! Meanwhile, if Futerman’s character in Kroll Show doesn’t get an identical twin in the third season, I’m going to be bitterly disappointed. You can’t have too much Tunes!