Thursday, February 26, 2009

Catching up on Movies

I've been delinquent in keeping up with my blog, so I appreciate my readers sticking with me.
Persepolis
What an intriguing and captivating movie. A few minutes into the movie, you forget that it's in French, you forget it's black and white, you've forgotten it's animated. All you know is Marjane and her world. It's so beautifully made and depicts the situation in Iran in 1980's so well - you feel as jolted as Marjane and her family when their lives changed.. slowly and purposefully. I was drawn to Marjane as we were similar ages, but then we were drawn to the parents who had to let go of their daughter so she may grow.

I was first apprehensive this was going to be dark and gloomy, and possibly graphic. It reveals just enough. This movie deserved all the awards and recognition it's received.
Two Days in Paris
Julie Delpy is such a force. She wrote, directed, produced and even sang on the closing credits. I loved her in "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" with Ethan Hawke. Those movies did so well because the dialogue had a natural rhythm. She and Ethan Hawke both received credits as writers for the movie since they've definitely improvised or had input into their conversations.

This movie isn't a typical travelogue about two days in Paris. This movie is a complex dive into so much more. Adam Goldberg plays Jack, the American boyfriend who doesn't speak French. Julie is Marion who is fairly unstable - discussions she has with people tend to be bizarre and explosive. There's another great scene where her mother calls firemen, and Marion ends up flirting with them. Jack walks through Paris with the grace of a scruffy German Shepard among dancing spaniels who know all the steps. As if the situation with Marion didn't frustrate him enough, he gets kicked around Paris like a football. As a director, Julie tapped into the frustration one feels when thrown into another culture.

There's snappy and witty dialogue, snapshot of Parisian life and attitudes, cultural clashes as well as the clashes between men and women. This is like a French Woody Allen movie, with Paris taking the central stage where Woody had NYC.

1 comment:

Daniel Spurgeon said...

I'll have to watch Persepolis. I keep skipping by it on my Netflix queue- I'll go ahead and add it to my queue now.

A movie that I saw recently that I liked is "Penelope". It is a good family movie.

I like the fact that you noted the "crisp dialogue" in a couple of movies in your blog. Dialogue and character development make or break a movie for me- all of the action in the world can't save the movie if the dialogue isn't "realistic" to me. My favorite dialogue from any movie is "Casablanca". My favorite movie of all time is "Godfather II".