Review: `Persepolis’ Is Wildly Inventive

January 5, 2008 at 11:28 am Leave a comment



“Persepolis” is a true original in the eclectic world of animation, one that’s full of fascinating contradictions.

It’s a colorful autobiography rendered in crisp black-and-white; it’s about Iran’s Islamic revolution, but it’s a comedy. You won’t see another film like this anytime soon, if ever, which is precisely why you should seek it out.

Marjane Satrapi adapted her own graphic novels (with the help of best friend and fellow comic book artist Vincent Paronnaud, who co-wrote and co-directed) and she did it with great humor, honesty and heart. Except for a chunk of the midsection where “Persepolis” gets a bit draggy, especially after wowing us with its inventiveness early on, you’d never know you’re in the hands of a first-time filmmaker.

The animation style may seem overly simplistic at first, but on the contrary there’s so much going on, it’s impossible for the eye to take it all in at once. Clearly inspired by German expressionism, Satrapi and Paronnaud make especially stunning use of severe angles, silhouettes and shadows.

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