Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rest easy

Vale, my dear.

I was fifteen when River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993.

Here we are, over a decade later, mourning another talent lost to the same killer.

Sobering thought, isn't it?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Movie Review: Persepolis

I'm just going to come right out and say it: I don't like "Persepolis". I've never liked it, not as a film and not in its original graphic novel format. And I'm uncomfortable admitting this, given the practically unanimous support and praise it receives from critics, readers and viewers.

In analyzing my own response to the film (which, all things considered, is a fairly loyal adaptation of the source material), I've determined that my problem with "Persepolis" isn't intellectual: if I'm as purely critical and objective as possible, I can see that Marjane Satrapi's story is well-presented, that her technique of juxtaposing simplistic artwork and very complex/complicated life situations is as effective for her as it was for Art Spiegelman's "Maus". I can even give the film kudos for some amusing moments ("The Eye of the Tiger" comes to mind, as does Satrapi's depiction of puberty-related transformations).

But emotionally, it leaves me cold. And because that's a subjective issue, it's difficult for me to pin down exactly why it leaves me cold. I can certainly sympathize with Satrapi's avatar, and I can imagine how intolerable her situation must have been, but... the key to enjoying autobiographical stories, at least for me, is being able to form some kind of emotional connection with the protagonist/author. Other works like "It's A Bird", "Maus", "Pedro and Me" and even Brian Bendis' "Fortune and Glory" (written when he was far less insufferable than he is today) did just that - I began to care about the people very early in the story, and that was really what drove the reading. Satrapi doesn't provide that for me - at no point in her narrative am I ever really compelled to care about her story. And that's pretty much the deciding factor for me.


It's been a month since my last post.

Not much to say in my defense other than the usual "real life got in the way" - but I've got some massive blocks of free time coming up and I plan to use them wisely.

Stay tuned! :)