Thursday, April 19, 2007

Iranians Get Animated

I mentioned last year the film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's brilliant comic book Persepolis ('graphic novel' is a superfluous and pretentious term that I refuse to use for works by Satrapi and other great comic book artists). The film is now going to be premiered next month at Cannes and its French-language version will be released on the 27th of June. In the French version Satrapi and her mother will be played by real-life mother and daughter Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni with Simon Abkarian as her father and veteran actress Danielle Darrieusecq as the grandmother. Satrapi and her co-director, fellow artist Vincent Paronnaud aka Winschluss have set up a MySpace page for the film, on which there is a running series of Making of... films, which are interesting though not terribly useful to those that don't speak French. From the stills alone it appears that the book's unique visual style has been preserved, and by the look of certain plates redolent of German Expressionist cinema, even improved upon. I can't wait to see it and with its English-language version starring Mastroianni also, with Gena Rowlands replacing Deneuve, hopefully it will be a huge international success, giving Westerners a more balanced view of Iran than what has been displayed by Mad Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the country's Western detractors recently.