Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Does anybody remember the music?

hehe, I have been too hyped-up over politics and news of late. It's almost eclipsed my unhealthy obsession with entertainment and pop culture! The horror.

Winter kinda sucks the life outta all those thingsIcan'tgetoutof...

This weekend brought the stunning and powerful "Persepolis" and the Grammys! (Back in the saddle, again)

The Grammys were actually rad this year! Don't care about the winners and all that bullshit, but the performances were GREAT and it was *packed*! Well, done, you Out-of-Touchers! (Herbie Hancock does Joni Mitchell!? WTF! haha)

"Persepolis" is something I've been waiting for …for a long time. I read the graphic novels years ago and totally fell in love with Marjane Satrapi and her story. (To brief you on that, if you don't know what I'm talking about...Satrapi, Iranian, was born and raised in a progressive (communist/socialist) household where friends and family came for sanctuary after being imprisoned or persecuted by the violent Islamic Revolution that was exploding around them at the time. And Marjane is a spiritual rebel, punk feminist, and Marx-loving intellect in her own right.)

The novel and movie adaptation version of Lil' Marjane conjures up childhood memories so vividly and warmly--I had always hoped, as a child, that I *vowed* to 'remember what everything was like' so that when I grew older, I'd know how to treat a kid, cuz I'd remember what the world is like when you're young (never speak condescendingly to children was the first commandment...) Marjane really nailed it in her books and on screen. At first, when she is quite young, she engages in lucid conversations and (sometimes angry) debates with god. It's so endearing and real. Again, it makes me think of me as a young one, involved in my own world--thoughts about the universe and reality and religion swirling in my head--trying to make sense of it all.

One of my favorite scenes to see come to life from the book shows a young Marjane walking down the street lined with men in dark coats selling bootleg tapes and records. She ignores the Michael Jackson, the ABBA, but then hears "Iron Maiden" and her eyes widen. Although it's nearly impossible for me to imagine what it would be like to grow up in such a controlled, prohibited state of existence, Satrapi is deft at making her entire story utterly relatable. When we get to see her engage in one of the most universal (for those who dig music, I guess) cathartic episodes, it struck me deep. She is disheartened by the chaos around her, and retreats to her room to *rock* out to the screams of Iron Maiden. Her rage, sadness and rebellion spill out and are released as she pumps her fist, squeezes her eyes shut and thrashes to the Rawk. It made me tear up and grin with empathy and joy.

She is profoundly affected by all the war, death, oppression that surrounds her, but she is also (somewhat) in her bubble of childhood and rebellion--this leads to confusing times ahead.

On screen, Marjane's persona is precious and precocious as a wee lass (cutest lil' French girl voice EVER!), and then evolving into a young woman, she becomes more confused and frustrated about her identity. Being sent to school in Vienna and then ultimately ending up in France--she is exotic and alluring to the punks and the commies, and "vile" to prejudiced others. She struggles with depression and *life*. She feels guilt because her family is enduring Iran's turmoil and she can be free to be a young student, far removed, in Europe. The movie is true to the tone (funny, absurd, touching) that the book held. It also brings to life the books' simple (black and white) beauty that Satrapi created so masterfully.

sigh. I don't wanna go overboard on plot----I just must say that Things Are Getting Better In Our World. This movie makes me realize it...and of course, looming over that is this moment of improbable politics. Yes, a black man and a woman are vying for the nom, and that is fucking incredible and inspiring …and it's so about time! As J Mo and Catu both say, how great is it to disagree and even argue about who we support, look at our choices! How freeing! How wonderful!
With similar awe, I marveled at and took time to appreciate that this movie was even made. It's in the art houses, sure, but it is fucking nominated for an Oscar, goddammit! Adapted from a graphic novel, about a young, rebellious Iranian woman who loves Iron Maiden and Kim Wilde ("We're the kids in America, whoa-oh" didn't make it into the film, but damn, I loved that in the book. ha!) Where's the "audience" for that!? But, people are digging it, man.

Things are changing...I feel it.

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