Thursday, March 06, 2008

See "Persepolis"!

Here are four things to love about this movie:

1. I take art very seriously, maybe more seriously than art's pale imitation, life. So the first reason, for me, is that this is hand-drawn animation. With an actual visual style. Like Betty Boop or Mickey Mouse. Remember them? Like that. Not like that soulless robot-drawn computer animation that is usually offered us nowadays. Better yet, its style is distinctive, memorable, and powerfully conveys its disturbing content. (Like the Boopster, Marjane is conveyed mainly in glorious, living black and white.)

2. It is completely original. An autobiographical cartoon, about real life in a vicious dictatorship. Need I say more?

3. Amazingly enough for an animated feature, it is actually enlightening. You learn from it. I learned (well, relearned) that tyranny touches and corrupts every facet of life. Also, that you sometimes shouldn't be too eager to get rid of a tyrant (eg., the Shah) because what comes next can be much, much worse. Also, that tyranny is often a sort of madness that goads itself into worse insanity, that tyranny means being stuck inside someone else's crazy nightmare.

4. It's one last chance to hear the voices of Chatherine Deneuve and, better yet, Danielle Darrieux, who was Madame de ... in Max Ophuls' great classic of that name. Be still my heart! (Thumpathumpathumpa.)


Anonymous said...


I've read the book, but haven't seen the movie. Typically I avoid seeing movies based on books that I've read. Have you read the book? Does the movie do it justice?

Lester Hunt said...

Matt, I haven't read the book, but I I'm thinking that, since it's do-directed and co-written by the author of the book, it must at least represent an honest effort to do it justice.

Slanted Answer said...

That's Satrapi is involved is a good sign. Perhaps I'm being naive, but it also seems like it might be easier to take a "graphic novel" and turn it in to an animated film as they are both "visual" in somewhat similar ways. The same doesn't hold for turning prose into pictures.