Friday, January 25, 2008
Discussing the animated sequence in Kill Bill Volume 1, Roger Ebert said “The animated sequence, which gets us to Tokyo and supplies the backstory of O-Ren, is sneaky in the way it allows Tarantino to deal with material that might, in live action, seem too real for his stylized universe. [...] The scene works in animated long shot; in live action closeup, it would get the movie an NC-17.” His point is well-received in Persepolis, an animated film about an Iranian girl’s formative years spent in revolutionary Iran, then throughout western Europe, then eventual return from exile. On a surface level the style of animation is cartoonish and even childlike, not the mode in which you might suspect Serious Business could be conducted. The movie uses these expectations well, like a trojan horse. Almost before you’re aware of it, what seems like a perceptive if light coming-of-age tale takes on tremendous power. You may find yourself crying, and wondering why.