Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Persepolis...

So, last Feburary's Oscars didn't really suprise me all that much. However, there was one nomination that did. I was reading through the list to do a post on it in, oh, say Janurary, and I was suprised to see a little film called Persepolis made it in the best animated film category. I was also shocked to see that The Diving Bell And The Butterfly didn't get a nod for best Foreign Film, after winning the Golden Globe. I researched, and discovered that, a given country is only allowed to select one film for nomination in the F.F. category, and France decided to send in Persepolis. Now, I haven't seen Diving Bell, but, I did get a chance to see Persepolis. Does Diving Bell have something to live up to when I see it?

Overall, I have to say, maybe. This is the story of Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi, the real life woman who also happened to co write, co direct, and narrate this cute little flick. It is the story of her growing up in war torn Iran. There's a lot that happens here, but overall, it is about her going through everyday life, as a young idealistic girl in 1970's Iran, and as she grows up, she begins to see the world for what it is. She goes to Vienna, comes back to Iran, and then finally ends up in France. She is a precocious, punky little girl who loves western pop culture and life. She has radical parents, so she is automatically attracted to that scene. She falls in love, falls out of love, and goes through all of the various aspects of a girls life. Now, a lot goes on like I said, so thats all I will say.

Visually, this film, as basic as it is, is really stunning. It's like the Madeline cartoon, just in 1970's Iran and black and white. It's basic animation, but that really works. It lets the story become the main part of this film. The characters are also really fleshed out and relatable for being an animated film. Like the Grandmother who says what she wants, or the tough, yet sensative father, or the really caring mother. These are full bodied characters drawn out in a really stunning style. The naration was also really great. I normally don't like naration, I think it just is really heavy handed, but here, it works. It is used for comedic effect, and I laughed. Everyone can relate to not feeling like you fit in, so this just really worked for me. Now, the second and third acts drag on a little, and for being only a 95 minute flick, I checked my watch a couple of times. This is a film that is definitley worth your time, just maybe on the small screen.

This is the week of my birthday, so, I will be getting out a lot, so expect some more reviews. Hopefully of Funny Games, Charlie Bartlet, and maybe something else.

Go see something good!

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