“Smoke isn’t just death. To me, smoke is like life.”
Those words lingered in the air last month when spoken with passion by Iranian filmmaker/graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, as we sat in a Georgetown Four Seasons bar (smoking permitted in the rooms), discussing her first live-action film, “Chicken With Plums.”
Just shortly before our interview, Satrapi got the news that a friend, essayist/humorist David Rakoff, had died at age 47. “Chicken With Plums” the film (adapted from her graphic novel) concerns a world-class violinst who — upon his wife’s destruction of his perfect Stradivarius, and thus of his ability to make perfect music — decides to lie down and die.
Thus, during our interview, the idea of artistic careers cut short hung thick like tobacco ether in the summer air.
Satrapi and I spoke by phone in April, just prior to her appearance at George Washington University; we spoke again, in person, in August, prior to Friday’s opening of “Chicken With Plums” in Washington.
Here’s a link to the resulting article on the Oscar-nominated “Persepolis” creator, running in Sunday’s Post.