Tuesday night is Movie Night at the Alliance Française in San Francisco, and for those interested in French cinema, this social event is a great opportunity to catch up on some films which might not have been released on the regular circuit here, to meet those who run the Alliance – and also perhaps to improve your French!
The first screening in December takes place this coming Tuesday, and features Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s award-winning and highly acclaimed film, Persepolis – an animated production based on Ms Satrapi’s autobiographical novel of the same name – written in 2000. The name – which means ‘city of Persians’ – relates to the ancient capital of Persia.
Iranian-born Marjane Satrapi – now resident in Paris – is a graphic novelist, illustrator, film director and author of children’s books. She was just nine years old when the fundamentalists seized power in Iran, and she witnessed the tumultuous events which impacted on the lives on all Iranians – the destruction of their hopes, the subjugation of women and the imprisonment of thousands. She also saw the senseless execution of her uncle. Persepolis is a depiction of these events from the perspective of the young Marjane, and also her somewhat precocious reaction to them.
Written and directed by Marjane Satrapi and French comics artist and film maker, Vincent Paronnaud – they also wrote and directed the 2012 film Chicken with Plums – Persepolis features the voices of Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Danielle Darrieux and Simon Abkarian. It debuted at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival where it shared the Special Jury Prize with Carlos Reygadas’ Silent Light (Luz sileniosa). It also won the award for Best First Film at the 2008 César Awards.
The English version of Persepolis features the voices of Gena Rowlands, Sean Penn and Iggy Pop and was nominated for a 2008 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature – making Satrapi the first woman to be nominated for this honor.
Persepolis – to be screened at the Alliance Française on Tuesday, December 1st – is in French, with English subtitles, and is rated PG-13.
The Alliance Française is located at 1345 Bush Street, San Francisco 94109. The screenings start at 7.00 pm, and admission is free, but a minimum donation of $5 is suggested. For more information on the organization, visit the Alliance Française website.
Festival de Cannes 2007