Tag Archives: sony pictures classics

I Second That Blog Post: More On “The Counterfeiters”

This post over at Valerie and Her Week of Wonders reminded me about my “best of” post for 2007 and how The Counterfeiters was a film I saw in ’07 but was likely to make my 2008 list. Well, here it is, 5 months in and Stefan Ruzowitzky’s film is still firmly in my 2008 top ten. Then again, there are likely a hundred or more films for me to see in the next 7 months, so who knows?
What I know so far is that it’s not only an exceptional little gem of a film, it’s one that’s, gasp!, doing well at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the film has grossed $5,039,883, as of last weekend, placing it 52nd all time for foreign-language releases, a ranking that’s sure to improve, as the film is still doing relatively well at the box office. The guys at Sony Pictures Classics certainly know how to release a foreign-language film.
As for the film, it’s a subtle drama and morality play set amidst the horrors of the holocaust and it paints its characters in shades of gray, a particularly difficult and risky thing to attempt when dealing with this subject matter.
If you haven’t seen this film, I urge you to hit your local arthouse or multiplex, like say, this one in Anchorage, Alaska and see this excellence in film making.

Theatrical Review: Persepolis

5.jpgPersepolis (Reviewed at the 44th New York Film Festival)
Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Written by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi
Based on the Original Graphic Novels by Marjane Satrapi
Released by Sony Pictures Classics
The Film Society of Lincoln Center wisely chose Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Persepolis to close its 45th Season. The French language animated film, mostly in black & white, opens in theaters in both NYC and LA today. The film feels at once nostalgic and freshly new. Even for those who don’t primarily identify themselves as political, the story, adapted from a series of autobiographical graphic novels of the same name, is a universal one; that of a young woman’s journey from innocence to maturity. It just so happens that the back drop of her story includes the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the country’s turn from a socially progressive society to one of fundamentalism and fear.
Marjane (the voice of Chirara Mastroianni, Marcello’s daughter), our young heroine, is growing up in Tehran during a most tumultuous time. When we are first introduced to her, she is your average precocious nine year old but it’s not long before she experiences the loss of her beloved uncle who is executed as a war criminal. By the time she is 14, her parents, concerned for her safety, send her off to boarding school in Vienna. The scenes that follow, where young Marjane is so homesick for her parents (the voices of Catherine Deneuve and Simon Akbarian) and her grandmother (France’s legendary actress Danielle Darrieux) are among the film’s most gripping, where for all intents and purposes, you forget you are watching a cartoon.

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