Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 18 October 2012 23:00

'Chicken with Plums' offers an unusual, tasty morsel

'Chicken with Plums' offers an unusual, tasty morsel
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
  • Dates: Opens October 19, 2012

Highly stylized and engagingly theatrical, Chicken with Plums relies on the considerable talent of French actor Mathieu Amalric to make his tragedy of lost love appealing. Most of the time, it works, as the story jumps backward and forward in time, visualizes imagined scenarios, and boldly depicts Azraël, Angel of Death.

The title comes from writer and co-director Marjane Satrapi’s novel and identifies Nasser-Ali's favorite dish as chicken with plums. As embodied by Amalric, Nasser-Ali emerges as a world famous violinist, a musician who communicates through his music the intense emotion of the tragic loss of the love of his life. Yes, the film subscribes to the conceit that an artist must suffer to achieve great art. Impacted by all this, Nasser-Ali's devoted wife and his two children endure Ali's sad resignation, until, on the street one day, Nasser unexpectedly sees and addresses his love, named Iran, though the beautiful Iran says she doesn't remember him. That plus the smashing of his violin cause Nasser to decide to die, entertaining his suicide options amidst his fantasies and remembrances.

As in their previous work Persepolis, co-directors Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud present a unique vision, here a blend of animation with live action, all clearly, intentionally set on a soundstage (in Berlin, in fact) aiming for maximum melodramatic effect. Aiding that effort, Amalric exudes a star's magnetism, as he did in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He's ably supported by Isabella Rossellini and Chiara Mastroianni, among others.

With the central time period 1958 in Tehran, metaphorical allusions to Iranian history repeatedly suggest themselves, though no heavy-handed comments push that agenda. Instead, Satrapi and Paronnaud use art direction and sound to anchor the film in Nasser's final, fantasy filled days as communicated through Azraël's voiceover narration. A bit like Kurt Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five, Nasser-Ali has come unstuck in time as his mind wanders from Sophocles' death to his son's and his daughter's future lives, all of this depicted. The episodes build to a climax, though one scene set in America misses its mark by a mile. Chicken with Plum's playful overlay occasionally undermines the drama as heartbreak yields too often to self-indulgence; other events offer lovely whimsy. In English and French with English subtitles. At a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

6 users and 14260 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook