* Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues is one of the ten best animated features I’ve ever seen, period.
No, correct that:
Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues is one of the ten best animated features ever made.
My ol’ cartooning buddy and fellow Tundra survivor Mark Martin brought the film to my attention back in December of last year with links and forwarded emails concerning the blues Nina is still suffering over the music rights — Sita juxtaposes Nina’s own recent experience being dumped by her heartless hubby with the epic Indian tale of Ramayana and his relationship with the beautiful and faithful Sita, told in part via ingenious use of 1920′s tunes sung by Annette Hanshaw.
Those ravishing Henshaw songs have indeed added to the heartbreak, but thankfully Nina has been able to get Sita seen, and I urge you to do so ASAP — preferably at a festival and on the big screen, as Nina’s breathtaking use of color, animation and design is integral to the film.
What’s even more breathtaking is that Nina did this essentially herself, applying all her storytelling and art skills from decades of creating comics — and the reason this is among the ten best animated features I’ve ever seen is the seamless perfection of Nina’s orchestrating of all elements: story, characters, narrative flow (between centuries!), design, movement, music, wit, dialogue, and the full range of emotions.
Sita Sings the Blues is the greatest animated first feature ever made, too, a fact all the more remarkable given Nina’s limited animation chops — prior to this, Nina made two shorts: Dandaka Dharma (2005), which was the seed for Sita, and Fetch! (2002), and she animated a stork character in Childless by Choice (2003). I’m eager to see those, now, if only to grasp the scope of Nina’s accomplishment with Sita and ‘fit’ this new arc into what I’ve enjoyed of her comics creations.
But I want to keep the focus here on Nina’s film — what it is, how fucking amazingly good it is — rather than the hubbub over music rights and the controversies associated with that.
Just see the film, and again, I recommend you do so on a big screen — not a digital stream, download, or on a pathetic monitor. Projected, with an audience, is the way to first savor Sita Sings the Blues.
The links just provided will give you all the ticket info you need to pre-purchase your tickets and go, if you live in driving distance of Montpelier, VT.
However you see it, see Sita Sings the Blues.
I’ll be writing more about the film down the road, but I can’t recommend Nina’s masterpiece highly enough — and it is a masterpiece, folks.
* And speaking of completely and truly independent filmmaking and filmmakers:
We’ll find out more tonight.
And in the words of Annette Hanshaw, “That’s all!”
* Meanwhile, on an entirely different plane of cinematic accomplishment – and please, don’t think for a nanosecond that Sita Sings the Blues deserves placement alongside these carefully calculated exercises in turkeydom! — there’s news from the other Massachusetts cartoonist Mark (as in Mazstal) I should have posted long ago, too:
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001) fans (and you know who you are), keep watching the screens!
Writer/director/actor Larry Blamire and his team of creative compadres are at it — well, no, they’ve done it — again.
I’ve got some catching up to do, don’t ya know.
Since Lost Skeleton, Blamire and company completed Johnny Slade’s Greatest Hits (aka Meet the Mobsters, 2005) and have Dark and Stormy Night about to come out, too.
Given the fun I had with Lost Skeleton, I’ll be tracking all these down eventually; let me know if you hear of them coming out on DVD, please!
* I usually don’t post paleo news, though I keep track of it all I can. Still, the occasional ossification news item does demand attention here at Myrant.
Teen triceratops dying in a flood – even 66 million years ago, you kids didn’t know enough to come in out of the rain!
* Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman updates:
1. The paperback edition will be out later this year, we’ll keep you posted on that.
Alas, it looks like it won’t be incorporating the corrections we gathered from Neil himself, Bob Heer and others; hardcover sales haven’t justified a revised edition, so our loss. Thus, if you were waiting for the paperback hoping for the revisions, don’t. Snag the hardcover while you can.
For that matter, check the book out, too.
Given all the revelations we saved up for over a year to reveal in this book, it’s been disappointing how little has been noted in the so-called comics press — is nobody paying any attention at all any more?
Were they ever?
In the words of Annette Hanshaw, “That’s all!”