Where art video and movies meet?

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Reading the New York Times today, I came across a review of Sita Sings the Blues, an 2008 animated epic tale of love gone wrong in the here and now and the there and then. The tale, set in San Francisco, New York and India is based on the Sita/Krishna affair in the Ramayana. This musical cartoon mash up of Indian miniature art, Betty Boop and Busby Berkeley is based on the true story of the artist/film auteur, Nina Paley. The narrative is provided by a Greek chorus of three shadow-puppet Indians with contemporary voices and views, who argue over what really happened in the myth and who was right, who was wrong, and why the gods behaved as they did. The trio, two men and a woman, qualify as remarkably unreliable narrators as they discuss a story in which truth is elusive!

Nina Paley, still from Sita Sings the Blues (borrowed from the NY Times web site)
Nina Paley, still from Sita Sings the Blues (borrowed from the NY Times web site)

On reading the review I went clicking around the internet and found I could watch the movie in its entirety on YouTube. Here’s a link to part 1, and you can take it from there. The movie makes a great comic comparison to the Saya Woolfalk epic–also a tale of travel and a broken heart–now at Nexus in the Supergirl! show.

And speaking of blue skin and avatars, Sita seems especially timely. It also seems to nestle snugly in the chasm that divides art video from commercial movie-making, offering serious themes, beauty, hand-made qualities and art historical qualities. Merry Christmas!

Tags

movie reviews, nina paley, sita sings the blues

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