Pin It

Sita Sings the Blues 

Wednesday, Feb 3 2010
Comments
In 2002, Nina Paley's husband moved from San Francisco to India for a six-month contract, an upheaval that ended with him dumping her via e-mail. Paley, an animator with a long résumé of short films, took solace in the sweet-voiced jazz stylings of Annette Hanshaw, and the Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic telling the stories of several Hindu gods. These two post-breakup fixations also provided the inspiration for her first feature, an accomplished charm offensive called Sita Sings the Blues. Using digital, hand-drawn, and collage animation, Paley traces the love story between Hindu gods Sita and Rama, creating a witty symbiosis between her images and the ingenious narration provided by a chummy peanut gallery of three Indian voices. This main story is divided by musical numbers set to illustrative Hanshaw tunes ("What Wouldn't I Do For That Man" marks Sita's kidnapping, "Mean to Me" her unceremonious dumping) and brief windows on Paley's breakup and its aftermath. The parallels Paley attempts to draw between her situation and Sita's are actually the weakest part of the film, and the novelty of the musical numbers eventually dims, but Paley's beguiling, consistently inventive visuals and sly yet melancholy tone are about as warm and winning as heartbreak-fueled empowerment gets.
Tue., Feb. 9, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Wed., Feb. 10, 2, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Thu., Feb. 11, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2010

About The Author

Michelle Orange

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.
  • Comic Con 2014

    Comic book enthusiasts, Cosplayers, TV and movie fans, and celebrities descended to sunny San Diego for the annual gathering at Comic-Con International.

    Whether hitting up a panel to check out The Simpson's announcement of a cross over with Family Guy or Futurama. Or hearing a new movie with Sam Raimie based on a video game or accidentally rubbing shoulders with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in cosplay, being a cosplayer, San Diego Comic-Con is the place to be. Photographs by Christopher Victorio

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed