Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
Marjane with her uncle in Persepolis (Sony Pictures Classics)
It's pretty rare to have a year in which two animated films make my top ten and another couple are worthy of mention. But in 2007, Japan's Paprika and France's Persepolis made my 10 Best List, and the American Ratatouille and Surf's Up got honorable mention. Those films not only represent the best of last year's animation but also its growing diversity. Persepolis (opening January 18 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) is based on the autobiographical graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi.
Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran. She witnessed the fall of the Shah, the early regime of the Ayatollah Khomeni and the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war. Her parents sent her to Vienna to escape Iran's repressive regime. The film Persepolis takes the perspective of the older and exiled Marjane sitting in a French airport and contemplating returning home. As she waits in the airport she reflects back on her life, beginning in 1978 Teheran. Even at a young age, Marjane exhibits signs of independence and freethinking, both of which are encouraged by her family. Her parents are progressive and socially conscious, and some of her relatives were outspoken enough to be imprisoned for their beliefs. In addition, she has a strong-willed grandmother who tries to give Marjane a moral core and a sense of self-reliance.
January 19, 2008 at 11:46 AM
What a wonderful movie. I read the graphic novels and the movie does them justice. It's a very good way to tell a story. I wonder if more in Hollywood would dare to use animation to tell a mature story. Not many would be willing. Certainly not Disney or Dreamworks. Richard Linklater is the only one so far. There'd been plenty from foreign filmmakers though. Sighs! -----
January 19, 2008 at 04:11 PM
Yes too true. But I think U.S. studios are beginning to open up to the idea that animation is just a choice of storytelling styles not a genre for kids. So I think the U.S. is inching toward a different view of animation.
January 19, 2008 at 06:52 PM
This movie adaptation of the books is one that did not dissapoint. The books were not better than the film, or the film better than the books they just dont even compare. They arent even in the same category. They are two different media. To put it simply, Persepolis the movie was stunning and magical.
January 20, 2008 at 12:58 AM
Melisa, Yes I agree. This is a case of a book that's been well translated to a different medium. I'm glad people are going to see this marvelous movie.