Sunday, September 23, 2012

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud: Poulet aux prunes / Chicken with Plums

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Poulet aux prunes /  Chicken with Plums (2011), set mostly in Iran in the 1950s, is a movie I can get behind 100%. It's cool and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it on the big screen. It's an eclectic mix that feels as if steeped in Persian traditions that are thousands of years old, dosed up with surrealism and magical realism. It seems a little like Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843), flavored with a cupful of Thomas Mann's Der Tod in Venedig / A Death in Venice (1912) and a strong added dash of Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu / In Search of Lost Time / Remembrance of Things Past (1913-1931). Oh, yeah, this too: Poulet aux prunes features special appearances by Azraël, the Angel of Death and it's also quite funny in parts. What's not to love? On top of this, it can be seen as an allegory about Iran and its exiles, Iran and its artists. Impressive.                                                                                                                                                           

The actors in Poulet aux prunes are fantastic. Mathieu Amalric -- undoubtedly known best by millions across the globe as a Bond villain -- plays the often comically passionate artiste Nasser-Ali Khan. Maria de Medeiros (Anaïs Nin in Henry and June; also appeared in Pulp Fiction, among many other films) plays Nasser-Ali's arranged wife. The whole cast is a joy, but for now, let's add Isabella Rossellini (Parvine, Nasser-Ali's mother), Édouard Baer (an impish Azraël, reminding me a lot of Peter Sellers) and Golshifteh Farahani (Irâne, or Iran -- Nasser-Ali's absurdly beautiful muse). 

Today's Rune: Partnership.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I watched a very different movie with Persians in it the other night. Rewatched 300. :) I don't think it's version of the Persians was terribly accurate.