Persepolis, the animated film written and directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud closed last night's New York Film Festival. The film is based on Satrapi's graphic novels of her life growing up in Iran under a repressive regime. This film (which is France's submission to the Academy Awards) opens in US on December 25. It is a fantastic film. I was skeptical at first because I am not a big fan of animated films, and the fact that the film is in French...but it is one of the best films I have seen in a very long time. Original and about something important, funny and dramatic. Mark your calendars now.
The voices in the film include Catherine Deneuve and her daughter Chiara Mastroianni playing Marjane's mother and Marjane respectively, and last week I had the opportunity to put some questions to both of them. Here are some noteworthy quotes from the conversation with Deneuve and Mastroianni (yes, they are both gorgeous and smoked way too many cigarettes in a 20 minute period)
Q: It's a very political piece without being overtly political.
Catherine Deneuve: That's why I like it. It's a great opportunity for her (Marjane) to make a film of this book because it is a political story, the story of a little girl trying to grow up and her parents trying to raise her. (The film) is a stronger statement than the book because you have the images and you sympathize with the little girl. For people living in America who have no idea how people live in Iran, I think it's a great opportunity to learn about that part of the world.
Chiara Martroianni: I think it's also interesting in the way she shows politics, some moments in the film are very dramatic and some moments are very funny despite the situation she is describing. She tries to give you a vision through laughter which is a very subversive thing to do.
CD: That's why the Iranian government was so upset that the film was going to be shown in Cannes and they tried to forbid it.
Q: What do you think about the lack of opportunities for actresses?
CD: I don't think I would have the same opportunities in America that I have in France.More to come closer to opening
CM: Often you read a script and you think wow, the male character is really good.
CD: In America there are less parts for women especially for women above 35- that's the biggest problem for American actresses. For a long time I've heard from actresses saying its so difficult here. (in the US) People are so obsessed with youth in America, especially in Hollywood.
Jeff Robinov, the Warner President of Production who caused a stir last week by saying that he wasn't making any more films starring women looks to be in line for a promotion. This guy should be in the woodshed rather than in line for a promotion. Typical Hollywood.
Is Jeff Robinov Ready for WB Moguldom? (Deadline Hollywood)
The Tyler Perry juggernaut is finally being acknowledged by mainstream media. His new film Why Did I Get Married? brought out black women in droves and was number 1 at the box office (with $21 million) beating George Clooney in Michael Clayton and Mark Wahlberg is We Own the Night.
A New Movie Brings Out Throngs of Black Women (NY Times)
Julia Roberts was awarded the 22nd American Cinematheque award this weekend in LA. AMC will air the show on December 5.
Film Biz Comes Out to Salute Roberts (Hollywood Reporter)
Meryl Streep will be honored by the Film Society at Lincoln Center next April.
Film Society Ceremony to Laud Streep (Hollywood Reporter)
Fox has cut the order to 7 for the mid-season series The Return of Jezebel James created by Amy Sherman-Palladino starring Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose.
Helen Mirren will be directed by husband Taylor Hackford in the drama Love Ranch co-starring Joe Pesci (Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren? Can't really see it). Film is about a couple that starts a legal brothel. (Variety)
Around the Web
Juliette Binoche's American Adventure (LA Times)
Series Premiere: Samantha Who- Christina Applegate stars as an amnesiac who wakes up to learn that she was a horrible person. (ABC)
Samantha Who (LA Times)