Friday, March 12, 2010

Sita Sings the Blues

Sita Sings the Blues is extraordinary!

Unfortunately, I watched this exuberantly beautiful movie in installments this week as I was preparing for the dissertation defense. I kept turning it on to try to take my mind off the defense, but I kept finding it hard to concentrate. However, in spite of the weird way I watched it, I was fairly enthralled.

The movie tells the story of Rama and Sita in Hindu mythology, and it is portrayed through several different styles of animation. These gorgeous cut out figures narrate the story, and that aspect uses collage. Parts are told through illustration/painting. Then there are extended sequences which are told through old fashioned blues singing (all one singer, Annette Hathaway or something like that -- no one I've heard of). Inter-spliced with this are bits of cartoonish animation depicting the film maker's present day break-up.

Somehow it all comes together, and the visual effects are just stunning. I found the parts with the blues singing to be a little boring, but other than that I was completely riveted. There are parts where the music is really techno and intense, and there are some wonderful graphic moments. It's glorious.

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