Can one call a 95-minute, low-budget, animated film an epic? I think this one qualifies. It may also qualify as a masterpiece. It’s certainly an excellent and an important movie. Iranian/French cartoonist Marjane Satrapi based Persepolis on her own autobiographical graphic novels (Vincent Paronnaud shares screenwriting and directing credits). Through the eyes of young Marjane … Continue reading Persepolis

The Violin

Political drama Written and directed by Francisco Vargas The Violin opens with a brutal scene of torture and rape conducted by soldiers against their helpless, bound victims. Don’t let the title deceive you; this is not a musical. Although Francisco Vargas’ film of repression and rebellion feels immediate and contemporary, I can’t say exactly when … Continue reading The Violin

Berlin & Beyond Preview

I've previewed three films scheduled for the Berlin & Beyond festival opening Thursday at the Castro. Here's how they stand: Fashion Victims, Friday, 8:00. Financial, professional, and personal pressures push fashion salesman Wolfgang Zenker to the edge in Ingo Rasper’s vaguely serious comedy. We can laugh at this man’s self-destruction because he’s such a self-centered … Continue reading Berlin & Beyond Preview