Every Thursday, SPEAKEASY NYC hosts an “invitation-only” cocktail party at the Sky Terrace, located on the 15th floor of the Hudson Hotel. The awe-inspiring view of Manhattan and the Hudson River coupled with the neatly manicured shrubs, open lounge spaces and hammocks, makes the summer in the city even more enjoyable.
Last Thursday, the exclusive party featured a guest appearance by cartoonist and animator Nina Paley, the writer, director and animator of the 2009, soon to be cult-classic, Sita Sings the Blues. Sita Sings the Blues is an ingenious animated movie that explores the theme of breaking up. Cleverly woven are two stories, the first is the Sanskrit epic the Ramayana, which tells the story of Rama and his wife Sita. The second is Nina’s personal story which starts with her happily married in San Francisco and ends with her in Brooklyn recovering from an email from her husband stating her marriage is over.
I was first introduced to this short animated film last year, watching Channel 13 on a lazy Saturday night. I was enchanted with the idea of turning a classic like the Ramayana into a cartoon and pairing it with 1920’s jazz music (Sita’s musical numbers are tracks by Annette Hanshaw). I am pleased to say that curiosity did not kill the cat. Sita Sings the Blues is the most entertaining animated short I have seen. It is naughty, thought-provoking and fun and reincarnates the wonderful music of the “Jazz Age” in a way that is accessible to a modern audience. Another aspect of the film I appreciated was parallel journeys of Nina and Sita, two women from different eras and cultures struggling to stay devoted to men that did not appreciate their worth.
After the event I watched the Sita Sings the Blues again. FAMERS if you have not seen this animated short, I encourage you to download it. It is definitely one to keep in your archives.
To watch or download Sita Sings the Blues click www.sitasingstheblues.com.