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By Bouazza Ben Bouazza , The Associated Press
Tunis, Tunisia — The trial in Tunisia over the broadcasting the animated Iranian film "Persepolis" was cut short Thursday after an uproar in the courtroom.
Lawyers for the two sides shouted at each other and exchanged insults inside the courtroom, prompting the judge to adjourn the trial until Jan. 23.
The controversy over the film illustrates how Tunisia, the country that started the wave of uprisings that have swept through the Arab world this year, is struggling to work out the role of Islam in society after years of officially enforced secularism.
The privately owned Nessma television station provoked an angry reaction last month when it broadcast a dubbed version of Iranian director Marjane Satrapi's award-winning adaptation of her graphic novels about growing up during Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The film, which won the jury prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, contains a scene showing a character representing God. »
- Gazelle Emami
This reminds me to renew my membership in the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (no, they aren’t called to defend this one, but they do great work both here and abroad):
The trial in Tunisia over the broadcasting the animated Iranian film Persepolis was cut short Thursday after an uproar in the courtroom. Lawyers for the two sides shouted at each other and exchanged insults inside the courtroom, prompting the judge to adjourn the trial until Jan. 23. The controversy over the film illustrates how Tunisia, the country that started the wave of uprisings that have swept through the Arab world this year, is struggling to work out the role of Islam in society after years of officially enforced secularism.The privately owned Nessma television station provoked an angry reaction last month when it broadcast a dubbed version of Iranian director Marjane Satrapi’s award-winning adaptation of her graphic »
- Glenn Hauman
It’s a well-worn observation that the book is better than the movie. But what about the graphic novel? It seems reasonable to expect the transition from one predominantly visual medium to another to be smoother. It was pleasing to see Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis gain wider attention through the animated film adaptation she directed in 2007 with Vincent Paronnaud. While fun, that film still had nowhere near the impact of the original.
Satrapi recently paired up with Paronnaud again to direct a film adaptation of her shorter graphic work, Chicken with Plums (Poulet aux Prunes, 2011), this time using predominantly live-action rather than animation. Mathieu Amalric stars as Nasser-Ali, a violinist who decides it’s time to die when his beloved violin is broken. Neither his wife, his two young children, nor his brother can dissuade him. On his elective deathbed, Nasser-Ali recalls his past, above all his doomed relationship with the beautiful Irâne. »
- Alison Frank
The London Film Festival’s now in full swing, so Michael’s provided a handy guide to what you can still get to see over the next few days...
The 55th London Film Festival is now underway, boasting a programme that includes top-flight flicks like George Clooney’s The Ides Of March, Lynne Ramsey’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, and 360, directed by Fernando Meirelles. However, unless you’re a BFI member, a quick-off-the-mark cinephile, or an industry bigwig, it’s highly likely that you missed the small window of chance for getting tickets for these bigger films.
No need to worry, though, as many of the festival’s 300+ films haven’t yet sold out. Here are just a few notable or geek-friendly deep cuts that, at time of writing, still have tickets on sale.
Despite being one of the festival’s Gala films, two of Anonymous’ screenings still have spare seats going. »
The 55th edition of the London Film Festival (Lff) starts tomorrow, October 12th, and runs until the 22nd. This year the festival will screen 204 features and 110 shorts from 55 different countries. A selection of films will compete for the festival’s 4 main prizes: the Best Film Award, The Grierson Award for Best Documentary, Best British Newcomer and The Sutherland Award (for most imaginative and original first feature). In addition, the British Film Institute will present its highest honour, BFI Fellowships, to actor Ralph Fiennes and director David Cronenberg, the first Canadian ever to receive the fellowship.
The festival comprises nine different sections, from big budget films by well-known directors, to first features, encompassing innovative new films from all over the world. There is a section devoted to European cinema, and special sections for British and French cinema. There are also separate sections devoted to shorts, experimental films, and classic films that have recently been restored. »
- Alison Frank
Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis Three days ago a group of 200 Fundamentalist Muslims protested outside the headquarters of a television station in Tunis for showing Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's Academy Award-nominated animated feature Persepolis. What irked the crowd was that Persepolis features an image of God, while Islam forbids all such depictions. "Arab Spring" or no, Nessma TV Nebil Karoui has apologized for the broadcast, saying "I believe that to have broadcast this sequence was a mistake. We never had the intention of attacking sacred values." Of course, whether the vast majority of Tunisians gives a damn whenever God is portrayed in a film is something else altogether. In fact, after apologizing Karoui himself added he "never imagined that this would elicit such an outcry. This film has already been shown in its entirety in several cinemas in Tunisia and never elicited such agitation." But Tunisia »
- Andre Soares
Islamists try to set fire to TV station that broadcast Marjane Satrapi's Oscar-nominated story about a girl growing up during the Iranian revolution
Islamist protesters in Tunisia have been arrested after trying to set fire to a TV station which screened the award-winning animated film Persepolis.
Based on writer and co-director Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel, the Oscar-nominated animated tale follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian revolution. Protesters said the film denigrated Islam and were particularly outraged by a scene in which God appears before Satrapi to teach her about forgiveness.
Police arrested around 50 Islamists before they could reach the offices of the Nessma private television channel, which broadcast Persepolis on Friday. "Three hundred people attacked our offices and tried to set fire to them," Nessma chairman Nebil Karoui told Afp.
Conservative Muslims have become increasingly vocal in Tunisia »
- Ben Child
After ten days of watching nearly 70 films and conducting a handful of interviews, the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has concluded. While we just hit our three-year anniversary, it was actually my fifth year at the festival and it remains one of my favorite experiences of the year. While it is more straight-to-business than something like Sundance, the breadth of films available is stunning.
We covered as much as possible from upcoming major releases to indies that may never get distribution here in the Us. I’ve rounded up everything below, starting off with our top favorites. Note that I didn’t include Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Drive since it is now in wide release, but it surely would have made the top 10 and you can read our review here. Click the titles of films to check out our full reviews.
50/50 (Jonathan Levine)
Drawing from a dark time in his own life, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
The European Union's Media Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary by presenting Europe Loves Cinema, a series of 20 films, in theaters all across the UK through November. Since 1991, Media has invested over €1.7 billion in European audiovisual entertainment — in fact, half of the European films in cinemas are shown with Media support.
The smart selection for this series reads something like a roster of Europe's greatest hits of the past 20 years. You've got your award-winners in Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Palme d'Or), for example, or Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives of Others (Oscar), Juan José Campanella's The Secret in Their Eyes (Oscar) and Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon (European Film Award). Haneke's Caché is also in the lineup.
Amir, here, back with more coverage of new Tiff films. The Toronto International Film Festival is winding down but luckily I have a couple of big name movies still scheduled. Here's a few from the last two days.
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
This Cannes grand prix winner is a slow-paced police procedural in which a doctor, a prosecutor and a group of other police agents drag an alleged murderer along with them in the rural Anatolia region of Turkey so he can show them where he’s hidden his victim’s body. More than half of this gorgeously shot film is spent during the night and I for one wished the morning never came. Gokhan Tiryaki’s impeccable lighting and the varied range of shots he creates in the limitless but monotonous locale of the film easily tops my personal list of best cinematography of the year. »
- NATHANIEL R
Archaia has announced the English-language edition of Marjane Satrapi's The Sigh. The Persepolis creator's latest book will be released in November. The Sigh is a fable about a young merchant's daughter who learns about the cost of having your wishes granted. It is already available in French and Spanish. "The Sigh is a timeless fairytale that promises to capture the imaginations of readers both young and old," said Mark Smylie, Archaia's chief creative officer. "Marjane is one (more) »
- By Hugh Armitage
Hengameh Panahi.s Production and Sales Outfit also Handling Chicken With Plums from the directors of the acclaimed film Persepolis, and Jacques Audiard’s Rust And Bone starring Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard
Company to Present Slate at the Upcoming 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto, On (September 13, 2010).International production and sales outfit Celluloid Dreams, headed by Hengameh Panahi, has acquired worldwide rights to the highly anticipated film Greetings From Tim Buckley starring Penn Badgley, Imogen Poots, Frank Wood, Norbert Leo Butz, Jessica Stone, Bill Sadler, and Frank Bello. Dan Algrant (People I Know, Naked in New York) is directing the script he co-wrote with Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel.
Greetings From Tim Buckley follows artist Jeff Buckley.s (Badgley) eminent 1991 performance at his father.s tribute concert in St. Ann.s Church. Through a romance with a young woman working at the concert, he comes to understand the father who abandoned him. »
- Michelle McCue
After her highly acclaimed adaptation of her autobiographical graphic novel Persepolis (2007), Marjane Satrapi comes to this year's Venice Film Festival with her first live-action film, Chicken with Plums (2011, Poulet aux prunes), again an adaptation of her eponymous graphic novel and directed together with Vincent Paronnaud. This time, the film is less overtly autobiographical and political, presenting itself as a traditional love story in true Persian style.
Read more » »
- Daniel Green
While most feature animations deal with talking animals and anthropomorphized toys, it was joy when we received Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud‘s deeply personal, auto-biographical Persepolis. Brimming with inventiveness, the 2007 black-and-white animation not only provided comedy the medium is accustomed to, but added a layer of social awareness and history I never expected. The grueling process didn’t sway the filmmakers from tackling something in an even larger scope, as they step into live-action with the delightful and emotionally effective Chicken with Plums.
Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) is the artist Nasser Ali (a fact he makes particularly clear), whose cherished violin has been broken into pieces by his wife Faranguisse (Maria de Medeiros), a woman he never truly loved. Destroyed, he decides to kill himself but doesn’t follow through with his many ideas on how to do the act (told in a montage played for laughs). Instead, »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
My favourite movie of the Venice Film Festival was undoubtedly, Shame by British video-artist Steve McQueen, which screened yesterday and met with universal acclaim. A desperate, gloomy tale of sex-addiction, urban-desolation and self-mortification, Shame is directed with such powerful, astonishing visual style by McQueen and acted with such raw, full commitment by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan (vulnerable, sassy and fascinating), that it’s all but impossible that it will be ignored by the Venice jury.
McQueen and his cinematography Sean Bobbit (who also lensed Hunger) capture a ghostly, liquid New York City, which sets the perfect atmosphere of loneliness and despair for Brandon’s (Fassbender) compulsive acts of sexual abjection. Shame is uncompromising bleeding cinema. It’s also deeply moving and compassionate in the depiction of the relationship between Brandon and his sister Sissy (Mulligan) who unexpectedly breaks into his »
- Ferdinando Schiavone
"After the freshness and deceptive simplicity of their debut, the 2007 animated feature Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Poulet aux Prunes — or Chicken with Plums — showing in competition here, is something of a disappointment," finds Movieline's Stephanie Zacharek. "The cast isn't the problem: The movie stars Mathieu Amalric as an embittered musician living in late-1950s Tehran, and Maria de Medeiros as his beleaguered but adoring wife; Chiara Mastroianni has a tiny part, and the fine Moroccan-born actor Jamel Debbouze appears in small dual roles. But the material just doesn't resonate, as Persepolis did."
Variety's Jay Weissberg disagrees: "Largely set in 1958 Tehran, the story, adapted from Satrapi's graphic novel, is a fail-safe tale of lost love leavened with panache, incorporating past and present with sweet and sour flavorings…. What Satrapi and Paronnaud have really achieved is an evocation of a lost world, much as they did in Persepolis. They've beautifully re-created the fiercely proud, »
Co-directors Satrapi and Paronnaud cook up a lavish, visceral folk tale about death, but it may prove too honeyed for some
The French-Iranian animator Marjane Satrapi won plaudits for her first feature, Persepolis, the autobiographical account of a girl's coming of age against the backdrop of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Here she again raids the family album to spin the fictionalised, predominantly live-action tale of her great uncle, a musician who is first inspired and then broken by his ill-starred love affair with the clockmaker's daughter. If the film's whimsical, magic-realist tone will prove too honeyed for some tastes, there's no denying its confidence and invention. Chicken With Plums shows that Satrapi – again collaborating with co-director Vincent Paronnaud – was no flash in the pan.
Mathieu Amalric stars as Nasser Ali, a celebrated violinist, rattling around the music shops and opium dens of Persia in search of a replacement for his cherished Stradivarius. »
- Xan Brooks
By Mike Collett-White
Venice, Italy (Reuters) - A love story set in 1950s Iran and a disturbing Greek tale of a group who takes on the role of the recently deceased to ease relatives' grief have their world premieres at the Venice film festival Saturday.
"Alps" is the follow-up to Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' critical hit "Dogtooth," and while it a Venice audience scratching its head at times, some critics gave it the thumbs up.
Starring French actor Mathieu Amalric as a famous Iranian violinist who loses the will to live after his instrument is broken, Chicken With Plums blends live action, animation and painted sets.
As he lives out his last eight days in his Tehran bedroom, Nasser Ali reminisces about life's ups and downs, taking the mood »
After the freshness and deceptive simplicity of their debut, the 2007 animated feature Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Poulet aux Prunes -- or Chicken with Plums -- showing in competition here, is something of a disappointment. The cast isn't the problem: The movie stars Mathieu Amalric as an embittered musician living in late-1950s Tehran, and Maria de Medeiros as his beleaguered but adoring wife; Chiara Mastroianni has a tiny part, and the fine Moroccan-born actor Jamel Debbouze appears in small dual roles. »
#12. Chicken with Plums The Gist: A live-action adaptation of the graphic novel, set in Tehran 1958 - Nasser Ali Khan, the most celebrated violin player, has his beloved instrument broken. Unable to find another to replace it, life without music seems intolerable. He stays in bed and slips further and further into his reveries from his youth to his own children’s futures. Directors: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (Persepolis)Sales Agent: Celluloid DreamsSelling Point/Suited For: While their first film was easily "translatable" (it helps when you make a popular animated film), in the currently unfriendly market, subtitled foreign films are definitely not priority. I'm hedging my bet on this one saying that it might just get picked up in Venice before it sets foot in Toronto. It's got that je-ne-sais-quoi like quality, and sure it's more bleak than hopeful but it reminds of the charm that a film like Amelie has. »
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