Persepolis finally opened in San Francisco this weekend, which actually managed to rouse me from my general apathy toward all things cinematic — I’ve seen a fair number of movies in the past couple of months, but mainly as an excuse to get out and do something. Sure, Juno is enjoyable as a clever bit of writing, and Cloverfield was an interesting gimmick, but this was a movie I genuinely couldn’t wait to see. Happily, it did not disappoint.
Of course, I am a sucker for good animation, and Persepolis is a beautifully-realized adaptation of the original graphics novel — which, of unfortunately, I’ve only read scattered fragments. But in terms of visual style alone, I’d say it’s probably the most faithful page-to-screen conversion since MTV aired Sam Keith’s The Maxx. Unlike The Maxx, which was brilliant but achieved a lot of its fidelity with low budget cheating, Persepolis moves fluidly and manages to imbue Marjane Satrapi’s clean, simple line illustrations with expressive motion and effective emotion. Color is used sparingly as a framing device, lending the whole thing a sort of historical documentary quality. Which, in a sense, it is.
Anyway, this ended up being a full review that is way too long for a blog entry, so it is continued here. Please to read.