Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sita Sings the Blues
by Nina Paley

Remember the dancing statues video I shared a month ago? That video introduced me to the American animator Nina Paley and I've learned about another brilliant work of hers, the 1 hour and 21 minute animated film, Sita Sings The Blues, produced in 2008. She wrote, directed, produced and animated the multi-awarded film herself. Due to copyright issues the film was released for free download in March 2009 . Read all about it here.

I downloaded a torrent from the official website and watched it from my laptop connected with big speakers. The film is musical and I wanted to hear every single word and instrument in there.

It is actually based on the Ramayana, the story of Rama and Sita, "the greatest break-up story ever told".

Here's a trailer from Youtube (the entire film is also available on Youtube).

The film used four different animation styles to separate parallel narratives. I love those traditional Indian shadow puppet narrators talking casually about the Ramayana, also the stiff animation that resembles 18th century Indian paintings, and the cartoon style where Sita appears to be the Bollywood version of Betty Boop singing to 1920's jazz music. Actually, they are songs performed by Annette Hanshaw, a popular singer of that time. I think I'm gonna download some of her music from this film.

It's really amazing how one artwork leads you to an artist, that leads you to other artists and their works.

Anyways, if you're also a fan of traditional Indian art and culture, you'll surely love this film. ^_^

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