The diving bell and the Butterfly
Julian Schanbel introduced the late showing of the film in his pajamas. He was funny and earnest and very open about the emotions behind the movie with respect to the death of his own father. The introduction set the tone for the movie which is similarly inspiring, honest, and deeply moving, though perhaps not quite as much so as he promised. It’s a wonderful story of courage and strength and inner resolve and tragedy. And moments of great levity. Mathieu Amalric is brilliant.
We had a bit of discussion about the translation of scaphandre to “diving bell,” it’s not quite apropos to the movie and is not the literal apparatus shown in the movie, but far more euphonious than “The Hardsuit and the Butterly”
The Counterfeiters tells the story of a Jewish counterfeiter who’s artistic skills protected him when he was arrested by the Nazis, and how he led a band of skilled printers protected under a Machiavellian Schindler-like SS officer as they embarked on the largest counterfeiting operation in history.
The movie was very well done, engaging, fun, with good acting and a very compelling story. The character conflicts seemed a bit rote and the character types played a little too close to standards, but overall a very worthwhile film to see and enjoyable.
We saw this really amazing film by an Iranian film maker, based on the graphic novel Persepolis. The film was the best we’ve seen so far. I really wonderful relief from some fairly indulgent films. A tribute to Pierre Ressient that was technically rough and really only engaging for the extended family. More of a home movie tribute than a film, though Pierre himself is quite amazing and his nebulous yet defining influence on the film industry is astonishing.
We also saw Werner Herzog’s travelogue of his vacation to Antarctica as a resident artist at McMurdo, Encounters at the End of the World. He’s a brilliant enough that his travelogue is interesting, but primarily just beautiful and occasionally funny.
Persepolis is a brilliant film. The characters are engaging and fun and adorable; more compelling and human than any animated film I’ve seen, and more so than most live action films. The story is tragic and painful and challenging and yet very real and despite being a devastating critique of Muslim rule in Iran, and a painfully honest indictment of the Shah, of British meddling, of the US influence in the Iran/Iraq war, and a sharp social critique of expat life, it was intimately apolitical.
Marjane Satrapi spoke after the film and is as quick-witted and funny as her characters. She was an absolute delight to listen to.