Amid international controversy, Marjane Satrapi talks animated PERSEPOLIS at Cannes where it debuted to good reviews the other day.
“I never saw it as a cartoon,” the artist said in an interview. The artwork had to be in black and white, and the characters are never cute. There are none of the usual special effects – cars don’t talk, Spidermen don’t fly. But it is funny, imaginative, and sad, bringing the famous books to life.
At Cannes, the animated film in black and white may not be viewed with pleasure by all. There has been word that the Iranian authorities are not pleased.
The visual diaries depict an Iranian girl’s life, growing up under several regimes and revolutions, the rise of the mullahs, the imposition of the veil. It is a dark past, a hard story.
But it is also a movie of surprises: there’s the striking art work, but also the tempo, fantasy, and drama, and the young author’s forceful point of view. The best thing is the sense of real lives – her parents, uncle, grandmother, friends and enemies – throbbing behind the images and voices.
BTW, we hear that Gena Rowlands, Catherine Deneuve, Kirsten Dunst, Iggy Pop, and Sean Penn are doing the voices for the English version, due out this fall from Sony Classics.