One of the great fantastic film festivals came to a close last night. Paris' l'Etrange Festival closed out its 20th edition by honoring Marjane Satrapi's The Voices
with not one, but two big prizes.
The Franco-Persian director, best known for the adaptations of her own graphic novels Persepolis
and Chicken With Plums
, marked both her English language debut and her first time with somebody else's screenplay with The Voices
. She was duly recognized for her effort, beaming as she was beamed in from Skype to collect the Canal+ Nouveau Genre Award (the festival's grand prize) and the equally prestigious Audience Award. While our Jason Gorber had a mixed reaction to the film, finding it both silly and schizoid
, I found the work -- which plays something like Bill Lustig's Maniac
were it directed by Rocky and Bullwinkle
animator Jay Ward -- a lot easier to love and admire.
The same two prizes were awarded in the short film competition as well, there the Grand Prix Canal+ going to Joost Reijmers Pony Place, a comedy of iPad apps and generational disconnect, and Carlos Torrens' more frenetic Sequence, about a man who finds he's on everyone's mind, taking home the Audience Award.
A round of applause for all three, and a larger one to the festival organizers for putting together another stellar lineup. Stay strange, guys, and see you for next year's blackjack edition!
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