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November 18, 2008

My SDFF - Sita Sings the Blues

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Nina Paley - 2008

I have a problem with most animated features. They put me to sleep. I know there are some people who really like Sita Sings the Blues, but for me, the gimmicks weren't enough to sustain the length of the film. The idea of an animated version of "The Ramayana" played against Nina Paley's own story of the break-up of her marriage is original. Sita may end up being remembered more for prompting the rediscovery of blues singer Annette Henshaw, whose portrait appears at the end of the credits.

What I liked best was that Paley played with the notion, through her shadow puppets who serve as narrators and "Greek chorus", that there is no absolute version of "The Ramayana". Not only are there references to the variations within the narrative, but there are also differing versions of the different characters, some variations on Indian art, while others, more similar to the newer efforts on The Cartoon Channel. What may be fundamentally wrong with Sita Sings the Blues is that I found myself caring more about the fate of the pet cat than what happened with the owner.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at November 18, 2008 12:42 AM


And what's great is that she answers the nagging question about the cat in the epilogue.

Posted by: wisekwai at November 19, 2008 07:58 AM