A Moment with Marjane Satrapi

A kind of “highlights reel” of my interview with Marjane Satrapi, author/artist of the “Persepolis” graphic novels and co-director of the film, is featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer today. My review of the film will run in Friday’s paper.

Marjane SatrapiBorn and raised in Iran, Marjane Satrapi grew up in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution, where she watched the idealism in the wake of freedom from the shah’s rule give way to an oppressive culture of religious extremism. She left for Paris in 1994, when she was 26, and has been an exile ever since. “You become a stranger everywhere,” she said, “but in a way you are also an insider everywhere.”

Satrapi first told her story in the autobiographical graphic novels “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood” and “Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return.” Now she brings her story to the screen in the richly realized animated feature “Persepolis.”

She talked about her memoir, her film and her life on a recent visit to Seattle.

On why she chose the graphic novel/comic book medium for her story.

I have a brain that functions with text and images so this is it. It’s funny … nobody would ask a writer, “Why did you write a book and why didn’t you dance?”

On adapting her graphic memoir into an animated feature:

People talk about animated movies as if it was a style. It’s just a technique. It’s like comics. “Comics” is not a style, it’s not just superhero stories, it’s a medium. So we approached it this way.

On animation over live action:

As soon as you make a movie in a geographical place with some type of human being, then it becomes the story of a Middle Easterner: “They’re not us, they’re foreign.” There’s something about the abstraction of the drawing that everybody can relate to, because drawing is the first language of the human being, before writing or language.

Read the rest here.

My complete interview will run here sometime this weekend can be found here.

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website (www.streamondemandathome.com). I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View (www.parallax-view.org).. I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly, GreenCine.com, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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