Skip to main content

Sita Sings The Blues, Opening Credit Track, Hindu Cosmology and Sita in Space


A lesson in Hindu Cosmology from the opening credit track of Nina Paley's wonderful film "Sita Sings the Blues"

Song and artist: Sita in Space by Todd Michaelsen (most of the original music for the film is by him)

The stuck gramophone song is Moanin’ Low in the voice of  1920's Jazz legend Annette Hanshaw. [original song at youtube]

Also, in that credit track, the people who know their Bollywood would surely recognize 'jaadoo signature tune for E.T. ' by Rajesh Roshan for Hindi film of year 2000 'Koi...Mil Gaya'. [check it out the tune at youtube]

'Sita Sings The Blues' beautifully re-tells the story of Sita from the ancient Hindu epic(s) of Ramayan and, in a parallel narrative, tells a personal story from the life of this film's creator. Of couse the story from Ramayan is the same: Sita is kidnapped by demon king Ravan. Sita sings (in the lovable microphone voice of Annette Hanshaw) for her husband Ram. Ram fights Ravan and (with some local monkey help) rescues Sita. But on returning to the Kingdom of Ayodhaya, Sita is asked to give proof of her love, piety and devotion for her husband Lord Ram. Sita has to prove to everyone that she is still pure. [In the end she goes down into earth, Mother Earth]

'Sita Sings The Blues' tells this story in the most magnificent and quirky animated way.

And to think that this miracle of a film would not have been available to all for viewing because of copyright issues.

The News as of 2008-12-03 was:
After pouring three years of her life into making the film, and having great success with audiences at festival screenings, she now can't distribute it, because of music licensing issues: the film uses songs recorded in the late 1920's by singer Annette Hanshaw, and although the recordings are out of copyright, the compositions themselves are still restricted. That means if you want to make a film using these songs from the 1920s, you have to pay money — a lot of money (around $50,000.00).
Read more about the films struggle with copyright at questioncopyright.org

And now after much efforts on part of its maker and supporters, Sita Sings The Blues is available for free

Download or Watch the entire film at archive.org or better still (in more formats and sizes) at Cutting The Chai

-0-

Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
.
Based on a work at www.sitasingstheblues.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/license.html.

-0-

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Famous Old Faces of Doordarshan

Some people recall the faces and some people recall the names. Here are images of some of the famous readers and presenters of Doordarshan down the years. If you recognize any of them, leave a comment.
[Update 1: Most of the faces now have names thanks to helpful comments by olio-gallimaufry]
[Update 2: Included image of one of the earliest presenters, Gopal Kaul. Send in generously from personal collection by son, Ashutosh Kaul. Sept, 2010.]
[Major Update 3: Got a tip-off about a documentary about the famous faces of Doordarshan from the makersof“The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan” from which these caps were taken. I managed to catch the incredible documentary and am adding some more faces/name and part of the docu here. New ones can be found after the image of Narotam Puri. 30th Oct, 2010]

 Pratima Puri. Believed to be the first Doordarshan reader.

Indian Cigarette Vintage Ads

He put a cigarette in his mouth and, as a matter of silent routine, offered one to Gwyn, who said ‘No thanks.”Richard looked at him.”I packed it in.”"You what?”"I stopped. Three days ago. Cold. That’s it. You just make the life choice.”

Richard looked up and inhaled needfully. He gazed at his cigarette. He didn’t really want to smoke it. He wanted to eat it. Almost the only thing that he still liked about Gwyn was that he still smoked…Paradoxically, he no longer wanted to give up smoking: what he wanted to do was take up smoking. Not so much to fill the little gaps between cigarettes with cigarettes (there wouldn’t be time, anyway) or to smoke two cigarettes at once. It was more that he felt the desire to smoke a cigarette even when he was smoking a cigarette. The need was and wasn’t being met…

While it would always be true and fair to say that Richard felt like a cigarette, it would now be doubly true and fair to say it. He felt like a cigarette. And he felt like a cigaret…

Kishore Kumar, Yodel-ay-ee-oooo Songs, A List

*Updated with corrections pointed out by Bart Plantenga, author of some incredible book on Yodeling including Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World.

-0-

Kishore Kumar's brother Anoop Kumar, who we basically know for the line 'O manu tera toh hua ab mera kya hoga', used to own lots of Austrian music records. And from these records, Kishore Kumar picked up the art of Yodel singing, an art perfected in bathroom and then introduced by him to the world of Hindi film music. According to his biography 'Kishore Kumar: method in madness‎ ' by Derek Bose, "Kishore was a fan of the Swiss singer Tex Norton [* Tex Morton, an Australian cowboy born in New Zealand who sang  in the gene autry / Jimmie Rodgers style] and the Australian Jimmy Rogers [*Jimmie Rodgers, perhaps the most American and one of the most famous yodelers in the world, famous for his blue yodels] as well."

Although most of these songs by Kishore Kumar are thought to be '…