Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rowley on Persepolis

I want to draw your attention to Stephen Rowley's review of Persepolis, which has only recently been released in Australia. It begins:
"Even those who love animation are prone to dark speculation about its shortcomings as a medium. The lack of live actors and the associated hindrance to truly subtle performances, in particular, is often cited as limiting the potential for serious dramatic work in animated films. The fear is that the relative paucity of full length, adult-oriented dramatic features might not only be due to a lack of courage and imagination on the part of directors and studio executives, but might also reflect actual limitations of animation itself. Thank goodness, then, for Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis."
Rowley goes on to enumerate the ways that animation is better suited to telling this story than live action would have been. Definitely worth reading.


Thad said...

I have some reservations (surprise!) about the film: I wish it was better animated, the characters sometimes look sexless, and it's a little over-narrated.

All that said, it's still a good film. Certainly not one that makes me wish it were live-action with animated pieces.

Anonymous said...

The thing that this film critic keeps hammering at each paragraph is how limited the animation medium is. All the limitations that you don't get from live action. Each paragraph is an explanation on why it was better to do this film in animation than in live action, a need for justification of the medium's use.
Persepolis is a movie that stands on its own merits without the need to apologize for not being shot in live action.
This critic represents a large section of moviegoers who absolutely hate the very principles that are thought by books such as the Illusion of Life.
In that regard, they admire everything that is akin to "That 70s animation". Animation for people who hate cartoons.

Thad said...

Steve wasn't apologizing. He said why animation was more suitable for the story, and how much better a film it was for it. Without actually saying it, Steve says "it'd be bad as live-action." Are you sure you read the review, anonymous?