Friday, March 29, 2013

Sita Sings The Blues (2008)

WHO: Nina Paley wrote and directed this partially-autobiographical animation.

WHAT: It's unfortunate that, because Sita Sings The Blues became a cause célèbre in the ongoing copyright vs. copyleft battles over corporate control of cultural heritage, discussions of the film often overlook how great an example of virtuoso animation it is. There's more expressiveness of character through movement, more diversity in motion styles, and generally more eye-popping visual material than anything I've seen using Flash. All this is crucial to making a movie that sustains visual as well as narrative interest throughout its 82-minute runtime.

WHERE/WHEN: Screens at the New Parkway Theatre at 4:00 PM this afternoon, and at 12:30 PM tomorrow afternoon.

WHY: I haven't yet made a return visit to the New Parkway since my first trip (which I wrote a bit about here) but have noticed that the venue has really expanded its array of special programs in the past few months.  In addition to Thrillville and the Spectrum Queer Media events every Sunday, there's a Tuesday night doc night (upcoming screenings include The Game Changers Project and A Fierce Green Fire), a monthly Grindhouse series that has presented digital screenings of titles like Fulci's Zombie and Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (tonight it plays the original Evil Dead movie), and a music-themed screening series co-hosted by the Spinning Platters blog (coming Saturday April 13th: a Trapped In The Closet sing-along). Sita Sings the Blues screens as part of a Family Classics series, though the feature has appeal to animation fans of all ages. If you haven't seen it yet, the New Parkway is a perfect place to do it, with comfortable couches to sit upon, a variety of food and drink at your beck and call, etc. And if you haven't visited the New Parkway yet, this seems like a perfect screening to sample; it's a natively-digital work so it's a natural fit for an all-digital cinema like this one.

Meanwhile, Nina Paley is working on making her (possibly?) feature-length follow-up to Sita Sings The Blues, and it's called Seder-Masochism. Late last year she posted a segment of it entitled This Land Is Mine online. On April 27th this mini-movie will screen as part of a not-for-the-kiddies Other Cinema program called Animation in Action, which also features works by frame-by-frame experimenters like Dave Fleischer, Lewis Klahr, Martha Colburn, and Janie Geiser.

HOW: Digital presentation of a digital production.


  1. I have the fond memory of seeing "Sita" at the now
    shuttered Red Vic.
    Is "copyleft" a Darr coinage? I would like to borrow and don't know if I have to pay you rights?

  2. I certainly didn't come up with the term "copyleft" which has been around for a while now. But it's possible I may have acquired the rights to it in one of my many government-encouraged, Wall Street-financed corporate takeovers. I've gone through so many I don't even know what I own the rights (or lefts) to anymore. If it turns out you need to pay me a royalty for using the term, my attorneys will get in touch with yours.