Sunday, September 2, 2007 

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.

2007 Telluride Film Festival

Posted at 00:00:16 GMT-0700

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