Vector art and the talented artists who create it

(VIDEO) SITA SINGS THE BLUES – by Nina Paley


Directed by Nina Paley

Using a variety of colorful animation techniques, writer-director Nina Paley wittily interweaves the story of Sita, the leading lady of the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana, with the story of a modern American woman struggling to keep her marriage afloat.

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Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues is a strange and beautiful little film, a potentially wispy slice of autobiography smartly elevated through irresistible, orgiastic style. The 82 minute feature cross cuts between the story of the director’s own divorce, and a loose retelling of the ancient Indian myth Ramayana; we’re led back and forth between the two milieu by three silhouetted figures who colloquially comment on the events in Indian-inflected English. There are also musical numbers, set mainly to songs by 1920s jazz siren Annette Hanshaw, which drop psychedelic Bollywood versions of the Ramayana characters into Busby Berkeley configurations. It’s an infectiously personal work, and all the more admirable as a sterling example of animation meant resolutely for adults.

Here is a message from Nina paley:

Dear Audience,

I hereby give Sita Sings the Blues to you. Like all culture, it belongs to you already, but I am making it explicit with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Please distribute, copy, share, archive, and show Sita Sings the Blues. From the shared culture it came, and back into the shared culture it goes.

You don’t need my permission to copy, share, publish, archive, show, sell, broadcast, or remix Sita Sings the Blues. Conventional wisdom urges me to demand payment for every use of the film, but then how would people without money get to see it? How widely would the film be disseminated if it were limited by permission and fees? Control offers a false sense of security. The only real security I have is trusting you, trusting culture, and trusting freedom.

That said, my colleagues and I will enforce the Share Alike License. You are not free to copy-restrict (“copyright”) or attach “Digital Rights Management” (DRM) to Sita Sings the Blues or its derivative works.

Some of the songs in Sita Sings the Blues are not free, and may never be; copyright law requires you to obey their respective licenses. This is not by my choice; please see our restrictions page for more.

There is the question of how I’ll get money from all this. My personal experience confirms audiences are generous and want to support artists. Surely there’s a way for this to happen without centrally controlling every transaction. The old business model of coercion and extortion is failing. New models are emerging, and I’m happy to be part of that. But we’re still making this up as we go along. You are free to make money with the free content of Sita Sings the Blues, and you are free to share money with me. People have been making money in Free Software for years; it’s time for Free Cultureto follow. I look forward to your innovations.

If you have questions, please ask each other. If you have ideas, please implement them – you don’t need my permission or anyone else’s (except for the copyright-restricted songs, of course).  If you see abuses, please address them, but don’t get bogged down in arcane details of copyright law.  The copyright system wants you to think in terms of asking permission; I want you to think in terms of freedom. We’ve set up this Wiki to get things started. Feel free to improve it!

I’ve got to get back to my life now, and make some new art. Thanks for your support! This film wouldn’t exist without you.

Love,

–Nina Paley
28 February, 2009

WATCH THE MOVIE HERE

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  • http://www.adamjarvis.com point-n-click

    I love Bollywood cinema and I love vector art. It’s like someone has been reading my diary. This is very fresh and interesting. Good find.

  • Pingback: Logorama (2009) – Vector Short Film()


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