Tag: french

The two volume omnibus edition of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoirs and Bildungsroman of growing up in Iran.  I actually did not know about the French edition until too late. As is the case sometimes, I regret not having found the original French version to read especially since I perpetually need to brush up my linguistic abilities. I did see the movie in French. Overall, I found this read immensely enjoyable and wonderful. I love it as much as I love The Complete Maus by Art Spielgman, another identity searching and family history memoirs of conflict. Persepolis was moving, tragic, beautifully drawn, funny, painful, and honest. It is beautiful memoirs of childhood and finding one’s own identity with change and upheaval. I liked all the characters; I could feel for them. I liked young Marji’s spirituality, faith, and religion, and while it was difficult to watch her go through her teen years, I could relate to her in a way I have not for a character in a long time. While I did not live through the political and violent times of war and revolutionnary torn Iran, we have similar family dynamics and other things such as the scene with Marji as waitress that hit home.

I often do not cry for movies or books which is quite odd since I can be so sensitive to things. I must admit that the scenes with Marji and her Uncle Anoosh left me verklempt. I read it twice and it affected me, and the film’s scene with it left me in tears. I cannot say why it particularly resonated with me more than some others things, but the scene moves me above so many others.

The film is wonderfully done as well, and while it is a condensed version, it still has the same simple yet affective black and white imagery. It has a couple of things the graphic novel does not, and it is nicely voice acted all around. It is harder to find a more truer to the novel adaptation than with Satrapi as the co-writer and co-director of the film. Both are recommended.

First of all, La Doublure does not translate into The Valet. In the movie’s context, doublure is French for  stand in or double, usually in theatre. Many of of Francis Veber’s comedies have games of pretense in their plots involving a character named François Pignon. Previous well known Veber films of similar nature are Le Dîner de cons (The Dinner Game) and Le Placard (The Closet). I think the latter is still my favourite of the three Veber movies I’ve seen so far. La Doublure is still very enjoyable though with nice comedic performances, and as with the others, the protagonist’s evolution in the movie makes for a feel-good movie. Veber’s comedies are not as vulgar as Hollywood ones, but still definitively French. There are is almost always a cool blonde or two, and there are a lot of rich jerks. I think Hollywood could pull off his scripts, but it would not seem as clever or with the right tone. Watching Veber’s films makes me consider how few good American comedic films are being produced.

Do you have any foreign language books and if so can you (still) read them? – BTT

Personally, I own one or two French books from my Immersion days. I do read at least one French book a year in an effort to not lose my comprehension. When I read in French, I always feel like I’m going through some sort of dream because sometimes I get don’t understand what’s going all the time, or maybe it’s the book. The last French book I read was L’identité (Identity) by Milan Kundera and a couple weeks ago, I took out his Le livre du rire et de l’oubli (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting). Kundera is particularly surreal in his narrative I think. I try to read some novels that are originally in French in that language, but it depends on the author. Next time I read Dumas, it’s probably going to be English.

I have to leave for a friend’s cottage in less than half an hour. She called me half an hour ago spontaneously to invite me. It’s the hottest day of the year yet at 31’C. I’m bringing a couple of books to read by a lake. No knitting today as I wanted to. Be back in the evening.