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THE REEL LESS TRAVELED KEVIN CRUST

The American Cinematheque's survey of Golden Globe...

January 03, 2008|KEVIN CRUST

The American Cinematheque's survey of Golden Globe foreign film nominees begins Wednesday at the Aero -- a chance to see "The Kite Runner," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Lust, Caution," "Persepolis" and "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" all in four nights.

Adapted from Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel series and told in stark, near-monochromatic images, "Persepolis" merits attention for more than simply being the rare subtitled animated film from somewhere other Japan. It intimately chronicles Satrapi's life from her childhood in Iran, through the 1979 revolution that transformed the country from a monarchy to an Islamic republic (neither hospitable to her family), to young adulthood.

Marjane's parents send her to Vienna for boarding school. Adolescence is already a form of exile without being shunted off to a strange land, but as Marjane matures, she wrestles with intolerance, yearning for home while indulging in the liberties afforded her.

Directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, "Persepolis" is elevated by the mellifluous voices of Chiara Mastroianni as Marjane; Mastroianni's real-life mom, Catherine Deneuve, as Marjane's mother; and Danielle Darrieux as her grandmother. It's an inspired vision of resilience, free of cheap sentiment.

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Kevin.Crust@latimes.com

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