A love story set in 1950s Iran had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festivalin Italy on September 3. “Chicken With Plums” was co-directed by Iranian-born Marjane Satrapi, a French graphic novelist best known for hercomic-strip film “Persepolis.”
The film stars French actor Mathieu Amalric as Nasser Ali, a famous Iranian violinist who loses the will to live after his instrument is broken. Satrapi said the film’s more somber moments were “nihilistic because life is nihilistic.” But she also said much of the film was a celebration of love and art — particularly Ali’s life long passion for a woman he could never have, played by Iranian-born actress Golshifteh Farahani. Farahani said it was a pleasure to recreate Iran as it was before the country’s 1953 coup, an Iran that is “gone forever.”
Press Conference with Cast and Crew:
Red Carpet :
(Start:David Cronenberg and the cast of “Contagion” arriving at Venice Lido) Red carpet of “Poulet aux prunes” by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Venice critics dine on ‘Chicken’ By JOHN HOPEWELL (Variety)
Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s follow-up to “Persepolis,””Chicken With Plums,” slipped down a treat for some critics at a press screening Saturday where it received an ovation.
Thelive-action “Chicken” is a major step up in commercial ambition fromtoon “Persepolis.”
Budgeted at €11 million ($15.8 million), pic is backed by major European players –Celluloid Dreams, which produces and handles international sales, and, among co-producers, the Manipulators, UFilm, Studio 37 and Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte,which releases “Chicken” in France.
Teuton distrib Prokino has German-speaking rights.
Set in quaint, old-world Tehran in 1958, “Plums” stars Mathieu Amalric a scelebrated violinist Nasser Ali Khan. Prevented from marrying the woman he loves (Golshifteh Farahani), he plays for her for years in concert halls worldwide.
“Persepolis” became a milestone in European animation for adults, but Satrapi said she and Paronnaud needed a new challenge.
Anyway, she explained to Variety, “Chicken” is a continuation of”Persepolis.”
Khan is based on the brother of Satrapi’s grandfather, the communist revolutionary of “Persepolis.”
“Persepolis”covered the changes in Iran from the 1970s to the 1990s, “Chicken” begins in 1958, and reaches the 1990s in a sitcom parody flash-forward featuring Khan’s now grown-up son.
“It features the same family, but just goes backward in time,” she added.”What I want to do is to portray my whole family throughout the last century.”
The last film in her Iranian trilogy, “The Eleventh Graduate,” will unspool from the 1920s to the 1960s, featuring her paternal grandmother who escaped on horseback to marry her grandfather and was only the 11th woman to finish her school studies in her province.
“Pushkin said, ‘If you want to write about the world, write about your small village,'” Satrapi said.
“Graduate” will also be live action. “My goal is really to make movies,” Satrapi added. “I’ll make comic books about other subjects. But I really want to concentrate on the language of film.”
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