New reviews: ‘Persepolis,’ ‘How She Move’ and Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2008

My review of Persepolis, the Oscar-nominated animated feature from Marjane Satrapi, is in the Seattle PersepolisPost-Intelligencer:

A memoir in the form of an animated feature, “Persepolis,” adapted by Marjane Satrapi from her acclaimed graphic novels, is a remembrance told not with anger but disappointment.

The film unfolds as a flashback, the quiet color of the uncertain present giving way to the graphic boldness of black-and-white memory. The narrator shares the experience of coming of age in Iran in the wake of the Islamic revolution. At the same time she leads us through her developing perspective as she grows up from little Marji — a girl who adores Bruce Lee and rocks out to Iron Maiden — to empowered young woman Marjane (voiced by Chiara Mastroianni). Marjane quickly finds that her artistic ambitions and personal desires are constrained under the oppressive laws of her country.

Satrapi and co-director/co-writer Vincent Paronnaud embrace the comic-strip style of line drawing from her books, and find an evocative richness in the austere and seemingly simple form. Every hand-drawn line has character and personality, and creative flights of animated fantasy are used sparingly and subtly…

Read the rest here.

Also reviewed is the new urban dance drama from Canada, How She Move, and I preview the Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2008.

The third incarnation of the Children’s Film Festival Seattle opens with Lotte Reiniger’s magnificent 1926 animated classic “The Adventures of Prince Achmed.” Subsequently the festival will offer five feature films and more than 70 shorts (collected in nine separate programs) over the next nine days.

Reiniger’s adaptation of “The Arabian Nights” tale is the oldest extant feature-length animated film, and it is accomplished entirely in delicate, intricately designed cutouts silhouetted against a tinted backdrop. This is not animation as we think of it today but a shadow play of the figures like lace miming the most elaborate magic lantern show ever crafted. It’s magical, mesmerizing and absolutely unique, and will be shown with an original live score composed and performed by Seattle area musicians Nova Devonie and David Keenan (who perform as the musical duo Miles and Karina).

You can read the rest here. You can find the complete schedule at the Northwest Film Forum site.

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website ( I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View ( I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly,, 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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