Monday, February 18, 2008

An Animated Revolution

So we finally did get to see Persepolis tonight, and I'd suggest that if you live in or near a city where you can see it that you do so at your earliest convenience. It is the funniest and most poignant movie about growing up during the Iranian revolution and its resulting Islamic dictatorship that you'll ever see. It's also likely one of the last feature-length hand-animated films you'll ever see, and there's a quality to the drawing here that you don't get with the computerized 3D imagery that's all the rage now.

Speaking of which, this film will likely lose to Ratatouille for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, which is too bad. I mean, I'm sure Ratatouille is great and all, but I don't think vermin that can cook quite measure up to this very unique coming of age story.

Note that the film is in French and subtitled. There is apparently and English-dubbed version, but it's not being distributed. Which is fine, as the voice work here, especially Danielle Darrieux as the grandmother, is excellent. Also notable is that real-life mother-daughter combo Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni voice the mother and daughter in the film.

Five previews, all reflecting the indie sensibility of the theater we were at:

Married Life, about a love quadrangle where a husband (Chris Cooper) decides it's easier to kill his wife (Patricia Clarkson) than divorce her so he can be with his lover (Rachel McAdams). Pierce Brosnan also stars. Not sure how I feel about this one.

CJ7, an odd-looking Chinese film about a laborer who, unable to afford the latest toy for his son, goes to the local dump and finds what appears to be a very malliable alien. It looks like a family comedy, and I expect that you could probably find the alien at toy stores across China.

The Band's Visit, about an Egyptian police band that was supposed to play at an Arab cultural center in Israel but takes the wrong bus and winds up in the wrong town. Looks cute, but has subtitles for accented English, which drives me nuts. The accents don't really require them.

Chicago 10, a sort of documentary look at the protest leaders who went on trial in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention crisis. It's part archival footage, part animated, which is interesting but I find the animation style off-putting. It's like the rotoscoping in those Charles Schwab ads, which I find creepy.

The Counterfieter, the story of a man who is arrested for counterfieting, winds up breaking rocks while in a concentration camp, but is then pulled off to help the Nazis create fake Allied nations currency. This is up for the foriegn language Oscar, and it looks pretty good, though I do like war movies, even if it's fairly tangential.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Let's All Go To the Movies... Or Not

I really have nothing movie-related to post here, given that I've not watched an entire movie in 2008. Bits and pieces on TV, but that's it. The wife and I were going to see Persepolis tonight - she's read the books - but she's away on business. So much for a Valentine's Day of animated Islamic revolution.


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