Discovery

For this week’s theme, I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I’ve heard few things about this book, but the most occurring thing was that it was hard to discuss without giving the secret away. That sparked my interest and I decided to read it. FullSizeRender(4)

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Differentiated Reading Project #2

I decided to do my project on The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Please feel free to click on the links that are included in this blog. I feel that my project will make more sense if you saw the websites and articles I used to create it. I watched the animated movie on YouTube last year and during my last blog post I had trouble linking the video because it seems that YouTube keeps taking it down due to copy rights. Somehow this inspired me to thinking how it would great if there was a live action version of the novel. Not sure how well it would do in the box office, but I would actually pay to see it…if the right actors were chosen. Despite it being a graphic novel, the novel had a lot of pages and I felt that many of the pictures we saw were very important. Since movies tend to dramatize tragic and moving events I feel that condensing both parts into one movie would be too much. Also with the popular trend to make different parts of one book, (typically the last book into two separate movies) I think Persepolis should do the same. Examples of this include: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I and II, Twilight Breaking Dawn part I and II, The Hunger Games Mockingjay part I and II.

For this project I will only focus on Part I of Persepolis. The film will be called Persepolis I: The Story of a Childhood based on the first part of the novel.

Movie Slogan: “One can forgive but one should never forget.” 

Director: Steven Spielberg

*I picked him to direct because he has made a few of my favorite films such as The Color Purple and Schindler’s List

Co-Director: Marjane Satrapi

*She was co-director of the animated version of Persepolis as well*

Screenplay by: Marjane Satrapi

Based on: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Sponsors: Angeline Jolie and Oprah

* I felt that this was a movie Angelina Jolie and Oprah would help to fund due to their influence (both fame and fortune) and their international contributions. Oprah has been a producer for many films such as The Hundred-Foot Journey and Selma. Angelina Jolie’s film producing experience is still raw, but she she has produced In the Land of Blood and HoneyUnbroken and a new upcoming film in 2015 called By the Sea.*

Music by: Olivier Bernet and Alexandre Desplat

*I picked both of these men because they are both French composers. Bernet helped with the music for the animated version and I figured it be good to have him on the team again.*

-The Unofficial Soundtrack of Persepolis I: The Story of a Childhood:

Mūsīqā ʿArabīyya by Unknown (Traditional folk music)

“Persepolis Theme” by Olivier Benet

“Kalinka” by Ivan Larionov *(the YouTube version might be a remixed version)*

“I’ll be there” by Jackson 5

“Baba O’ Riley” by The Who

“Kids in America” by Kim Wilde

“La Guerre” by Olivier Benet

Main Cast:

* All actors and actresses for the main cast were chosen due to their acting skills/influence, their Middle Eastern ethnicity/background and their appropriate age related to their character.*

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

*I pick this company because they distributed 12 Years A Slave and Slumdog Millionaire.*

Running time: 110 minutes

Country: France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, United States, Great Britain and Iran

Language: French, English, Persian, Italian, German, Swedish  *based on all the languages Marjane Satrapi knows*

Film Budget: $30 million

Choice

In class during our PLN’s many of the groups mentioned chapters that discussed about graphic novels and the benefits of using them. I typically think that most people have negative view about graphic novels since they utilize pictures in a comic book format, making it seem like an easy read. I am not going to lie, I tend to think this way about graphic novels as well and unfortunately it will probably take me some time for this mindset to diminish. However, if it inspires others to read and to actually get excited about literature then graphic novels cannot be so bad after all. My first graphic novel was freshman year of college when my gen-ed writing professor introduced us to graphic novels as a part of her unit. I was assigned with the novel Persepolis and I actually loved it that much I also watched the french animated version of the novel on YouTube.

I decided to reread The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi for my choice week. Persepolis is the autobiography of Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian who’s life changes during the Islamic revolution. The first part of the novel is about Marjane’s childhood, starting from when she was ten years to when she is fourteen who eventually has to flee for her own safety. Marjane who believed in Zoroastrianism before the revolution is forced to adopt Islamic practices such as wearing a veil to school. However, Marjane is very spirited and has an individualistic spirit. She is not afraid to rebel against the elders, but she soon realizes that the fundamentalist movement in Iran has caused many of her friends, neighbors and family to flee to America or Europe to escape the regime.  Her very own uncle, who she adored for being a hero, is executed for being a “Russian spy”. As Marjane’s world crumbles, she is faced against bombings in her country, oppressive regime laws and hostile neighbors. One day Marjane witnesses a tragedy amongst her neighbors which stirs up anger and pain within her. Soon her parents deem it unsafe for Marjane to live in Iran, as Marjane was expelled from school due to a rebellious outburst. The second part of the novel is about how Marjane adapts to her new life and how she grows as a person as she is introduced to western thinking and culture. Marjane returns to Iran several years later only to find that her country is still not the same from her childhood.

Throughout the novel Marjane Satrapi is constantly faced with the choice to adopt the new western principles or to remain loyal to her culture. This internal struggle soon enough becomes an outward as Marjane has to not only learn to accept herself, but to show this to others around her. We learn things (or at least I did) about the Iranian/Iraq War in school, and we see a couple of pictures and hear a few short stories and quotes from the civilians, but this was the first time I read an autobiography of someone who actually lived throughout it. I recommend this novel to any young adult and I would personally say that this novel fits under a broad number of themes, such as: Coming of Age, Rebellion, Spirit, Journey, etc.,

Individualism

I read Wonder by R.J Palacio for this week’s theme, Individualism. I was immediately captured by the characters and storyline. I could not put this book down and I finished it in the next two days. Wonder was a very touching tale, I cannot count the amount of times I cried out of sadness for Auggie’s bad days, or out of joy for Auggie’s successes (anyone who follows/stalks me on twitter already knows how much I cried while reading this book). Wonder is now one of my favorite books and I probably would not have heard about this if it were not for the students in my READ 254 class, so thank you because I was able to have this incredible reading experience. Wonder is about a boy named August (Auggie) Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities. August has been home schooled since he was young because he was unable to go to school due to his 27 surgeries. In the novel, August is given the opportunity to attend Beecher Prep for 5th grade. Already being unique, August is afraid because he doesn’t want others to see him as different. August believes that he is an ordinary boy, but that others don’t see him that way. Most of the novel is about August’s trials and tribulations as he learns to find his way a way to be himself, yet accepted as an equal among his peers.This book fits perfectly for this week’s theme because Wonder incorporates aspects of individualism. August struggles to fit in desiring to show everyone that he is ordinary despite his face defects, but at the same time that he is distinct, he is his own person and that what makes him different. Many of the students are afraid to befriend, talk or touch August because of his abnormalities and due to fear of being ostracized by the rest of the “normal” students at Beecher Prep. As August learns to have self-confidence he unconsciously is able to touch those around them to be their own person, just as he is his own person. It’s refreshing to see midway of the novel the students at Beecher Prep who do break out of this “group think” mold and begin to decide for themselves who they should befriend and who they can hang out with.

Good/Evil

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I read Stolen by Lucy Christopher for this week’s theme Good and Evil. In the novel, Gemma is kidnapped from the airport and her capture refuses to let her go. I think this part was a crucial element to the story because the reader gets to learn that the line between good and evil is not always clear cut and that even evil people have a story.

Deception

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As I was reading Othello by Shakespeare for our deception week, I felt that I had to take a picture of one of Iago’s monologues. I decided to put Act 1, Scene 1 due to the fact that I felt what Iago said about himself, not being who he appears to be, as a crucial part of the play and hints at Iago’s deceptive nature.