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Tales of a Golden Geisha More at IMDbPro »Ageman (original title)

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A little disappointing

6/10
Author: sharptongue from Sydney, Australia
24 December 2001

Not quite up to the standard of TAXING WOMAN or SUPERMARKET WOMAN. A-ge-man ("Raise Up Organ") is a deliberately episodic tale, which takes slices of the lead character's life, beginning with her discovery as an abandoned baby, through childhood training as a somewhat gawky geisha, finding her first rich patron, then leaving the profession to work as a bank secretary.

Somewhat unexpectedly, most of the film concentrates on her time in the bank, and her gradually developing relationship with frequent co-star Masahiko Tsugawa, who plays a fast-upwardly mobile serial playboy. Even when he wins the lovely Nayoko and she lives with him, he doesn't stop screwing several other women at once.

On the plus side, the film has a lovely look, colourful with stunning costumes and sets. And lead actress Nobuko (also Itami's wife) looks radiant, though she is far from a young woman even here. Perhaps affirming this, there is a brief scene where she appears topless whilst looking in a mirror.

I felt the episodic structure wasn't done as well at it could have been, and that Tsugawa's character, while quite charming at times, grates because of his obviously unfaithful and inconsiderate nature.

Worth watching, but see a few other of Itami's great films first.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Itami's version of an urban legend

7/10
Author: ebiros2 from United States
16 July 2009

The title A-ge-man refers to an urban myth in Japan that certain women possesses luck bringing organ, and having sex with such woman will enhance your career and fortune. Nobuko Miyamoto plays a geisha who's in demand because she possesses such organ.

Mondo (Masahiko Tsugawa) meets Nayoko (Nobuko Miyamoto) by a chance encounter in the subway. Mondo is ambitious playboy who has appetite for both social status and women. Nayaoko starts to become attracted to Mondo while Mondo being his usual self is absorbed in climbing the social ladder, and going to bed with women.

Like most of Itami's movies, this movie shows people in compromising positions which adds humor to the story, while telling a story of greed and corruption that exists in society. Sometimes Itami steps in too far into the taboo of society, and this is reflected in his real life ordeal of being attacked by yakuza, and even his death is rumored to be a foul play for directing movies that hits too close to home.

This movie shows the corruption, selfishness, power play and greed of people in power. Nayoko is much sought after because of her ability to bring luck to the players. Nayoko lives up to her reputation as she helps Mondo in many situations. This starts to change Mondo in a subtle way.

Good movie that explores the back side of society from an interesting angle and humor. Nobuko Miyamoto is great in this movie.

This is a movie that has drama and situation comedy rolled into one. Recommended.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

She Needs A Man

8/10
Author: crossbow0106 from United States
5 September 2010

Mr. Itami's films sometimes send up Japanese culture and this no exception. Nayoko (played by his wife, the always great to watch Nobuko Miyamoto) plays a bank secretary who was abandoned as a baby and raised as a Geisha. She possesses the luck in her that comes to men who are with her (for them, not for her), at first being a mistress for a bishop, a much older official and especially with Mondo (Masahiko Tsugawa), who is a manager at her bank. Mondo is a womanizer, but she agrees to be with him. The film is fun, there are some funny parts. The question is whether she will stay with Mondo or go back to her life as a Geisha. What I've always liked about Mr. Itami's films is his attention to detail, he tells a story vividly and with verve. Ms. Miyamoto embraces every role she is in and she is a joy to watch in this film, as well as others. Perhaps not as good as "A Taxing Woman" (that is an essential film), this film has more than enough to recommend it. Enjoy!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Oh, the Jelly. Daddy's favourite Jelly.

10/10
Author: carrot_butter from United States
25 January 2016

Is there anything more enjoyable than curling up and watching Juzo Itami movies?

The clothing and dress are particularly stunning with all of the characters. The bright red lipsticks, the fashion of the city. The over all phasing back and forth between the timeless old fashioned quarters and modern society.

Each scene is highlight with delightful transitions book-ended with the catchy score. This is comparable to Juzo Itami's Minbo, although a completely different style of film and musical interludes.

Nobuko Miyamoto again completely transforms herself as the titular Geisha. Her story turns the romantic narrative on its head and completely throws out the conventions of the genera. The glorified melodramatic situations are treated in such a flippant way it highlights the absurdity of human situations to begin with. This is a common theme in every Juzo Itami work, which is why I feel it appeals to everybody. It's not so much an idealization of these very Japanese themes, but a loving study of humanity, the ridiculousness of life, and the human spirit through humor.

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