Angel is a selfish, abusive, morally bankrupt man who hangs out as his local bar, berating the other patrons. One day, Angel mysteriously wakes up with a pair of wings on his back. The ... See full summary »
A starving gendarme, wasting away from hunger, is reduced to grabbing castoff snacks from fat American tourists. When he sees as old woman feeding pigeons, in desperation he hits on the ... See full summary »
Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey - in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero - brings heartache and torment.
Alert! is a collection of one to four minute animated musical clips created by one man, your pal Jim Ether. Jim began creating abstract animations for the internet and got it into his head ... See full summary »
When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.
An animated short set to the tune of Pat Boone's Exodus Song satirizing the history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant. "I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene ... See full summary »
The movie is about Sita, the Hindu Goddess from the epic "The Ramayana", who accompanies Lord Rama on a 14 year exile in forest. Sita is abducted by Ravana, the ruler of Lanka. This movie tells the story of Rama and Sita, along-with a biographical account of the director's relationship with her husband. Written by
There are two cats in the film - Lexi and Bruno. Lexi is the striped cat that Nina and Dave had in San Francisco. Bruno is the black cat that Nina has in her apartment in New York. According to Nina Paley's Director's Commentary, Bruno does, in fact, sleep in Nina's armpit, as shown at the end of the movie. See more »
The musicians are shown playing with the left and right hands reversed. The clarinet, like all woodwinds, is played with the left hand at the top. The violin is held with the left hand and bowed with the right. But in the movie, the clarinet player has the right hand at the top, and the violin is held with the right and bowed with the left. See more »
Featured in last year's edition of Animation Nation, I finally got a chance to watch this masterpiece by filmmaker Nina Paley when she released it on the Internet under the Creative Commons License. And it is without a doubt that this piece of animation is well worth every minute of your time, especially when the visuals just arrests your attention from the get go, and has some wonderful music and songs by 1920s jazz singer Annette Hanshaw, who provides the titular Sita with her singing voice.
Based on the epic Indian tale of Ramayana, focusing on the love triangle between Rama (voiced by Debargo Sanyal), his virtuous wife Sita (Nina Paley herself), and the adversary in the form of Ravana (Sanjiv Jhaveri) who lusts after Sita and kidnaps her, I have gotten a glimpse of this storyline when it got featured in films such as Swades and the more recent Delhi-6. Essentially the extracts in those film featured how Ravana kidnaps Sita for her beauty, and wanted to make her his wife, only for her to hold out enough for Rama to find them, and to kill Ravana in an ensuing war.
The story here expands that tale a lot more, starting with how Rama got banished from his kingdom by his father the King, and together with Sita, roams a forest until her kidnap, their reunion, and how Rama decided to banish her given his incessant suspicion that she may not have been pure, and got violated. It's a sad love story in a way, and this film provided just enough to pique your interest in wanting to read up more.
It's quite amazing how Paley herself directed this piece of magic, and adopted various animation styles to tell a story, and a musical, and has a separate tale set in the modern day to parallel that of the epic tale. I am speechless by how wonderful the opening credits got designed, fused perfectly with the song playing in the background. Her choice of the Annette Hanshaw tunes were a wonderful touch that fit the story to a T, and this can only be attributed to some astonishing creativity and innovation that Paley had demonstrated, and I can't help but to want more.
The shadow puppet narrators (Aseem Chhabra, Bhavana Nagulapally and Manish Acharya) stole the show each time they're on, as they sound just like your good pals who can't wait to give you the lowdown on what they know about this tragic love triangle. They're hilarious and never at any point felt deliberately so, with that very natural feel about the way they want to tell a story.
I would have loved to experience this in a big screen theatre setting, but I guess that would not come anytime soon. So the next best alternative was to download the highest resolution version available to watch this astounding piece as well as to admire the striking attention to details that Paley so lovingly and respectfully put into the characters. You would do yourself a favour and watch how Sita Sings the Blues, as it's a definite must-watch in my books!
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