Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Marjane Satrapi’s film, which impressionistically trails her own experiences as an outspoken child from the Islamic Revolution in Iran, to her emotionally taxing years apart in Europe, is brimming with honesty, humor, and harsh history, with all the resonant capacities of a live action film…perhaps ironically even more so, for at moments it seems to extract the heart of an experience so purely, it comes across distilled to an essence.
PERSEPOLIS is structured and styled much in the manner of the director’s original graphic novel of the same title; incremental, sectional, flowing generally by virtue of chronology, but jumping from moment to moment. It was also animated purely by hand, with felt-tip tracing. This makes a tactile link between the two manifestations of this wonderful story; film and graphic novel. It’s uncommonly rich in its utter simplicity, and ever inventive for the same reason. What makes it even more appreciable is just how starkly different it is compared to the daunting prevalence of over-manufactured computer animated films being pumped out of Pixar and the like. PERSEPOLIS comes across as a retreat to basics, and yet speaks volumes more by its modest innovations.