Attention Angelenos! Nina Paley’s incredibly wonderful full length feature film Sita Sings The Blues will have its Los Angeles Premiere in glorious 35mm at the RedCat Theatre (within the Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown) on Monday night October 13th at 8:30pm. For details and tickets click here.
I saw the film, twice, in Ottawa and I’m absolutely wild about it. And here’s why: It’s a perfectly realized, solid piece of work. Visually beautiful, extremely entertaining, it has so much going for it I really can’t think of anything I’d change about it.
The film tells the story of Nina’s ill-fated long distance relationship (and eventual break-up) to a boyfriend who was transfered to India on business. This part of the film is animated and drawn in Nina’s comic-strip, bigfoot style (above). She intercuts this story with the Indian legend of Ramayana – this told by three off-screen Indian contemporaries who hilariously try to remember all the little details. This part is animated in a paper cut-out collage style, using all manner of Hindu commercial imagery and iconography — not unlike Ward Kimball’s pop-art educationals (Music, Space, Birds, etc.). Within the Ramayana sections, Paley re-imagines certain plot points as elaborate musical-fantasy sequences, animated with Max-Fleischer-meets-UPA designs (see image below) set to a soundtrack of vintage 1929-era Annette Hanshaw recordings. Imagine Betty Boop in a Bollywood musical and you are close the mood Paley achieves.