Mr. Movie

'Sita Sings the Blues' ranks among year's best

You must see Sita Sings the Blues.

Forget a description. Adjectives to describe the creativity of writer, director and animator Nina Paley don’t exist.

Movies like this are why animation was invented. You haven’t seen this style and variety of colors or so many different animation types tacked together since The Beatles put their names and music to Yellow Submarine.

They perfectly fit the film’s many moods.

Paley melds the pain of the real life break-up of her marriage with the suffering of Indian legend of Ramayana. This is where adjectives fail again. Her story and that of the Goddess Sita and her God-husband Rama are sprinkled with hilarious narration from three animated puppet characters.

Break-ups are supposed to be serious affairs. Starting with the torchy music it’s hard to say Sita is anything except seriously funny and seriously clever.

She packs Sita with classic 1920s songs from the mostly unknown Annette Hanshaw. Paley has her trembly soprano telling the music portion of the princess’ tragic story through love songs done on scratchy old vinal.

This is the last film of the Battelle Film Club’s fall series. They saved the best for last. Sita Sings the Blues is a most unusual and creative piece of filmmaking.

It is not to be missed. Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Not rated probably PG-13. It plays only at 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 9 at the Battelle Auditorium.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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