Flooding with Love for the Kid

Sita Sings the Blues isn’t the only feature film made by one person in a small Manhattan apartment. Zachary Oberzan‘s Flooding With Love For the Kid was made in an even smaller apartment (220 square feet) and far lower budget ($95.51). (This budget doesn’t include any copyright clearances of course – don’t tell First Blood author David Morrell.)

It suspenseful and watchable from beginning to end. It has life and soul. It’s interactive – the audience knows they’re looking through the film’s surface when they engage with the story. I laughed a lot, but it’s not a comedy.

Zack did a post-screening Q and A, and sounded uncannily like myself (“I didn’t choose the book; the book chose me”). Like Sita, Flooding With Love was not storyboarded or carefully planned; it relied on the source text for structure. The contrasts between the films are notable too: Sita is a “feminine” story, from a woman’s point of view, made almost entirely by one woman; Flooding With Love is a masculine, one-man action story. If you miss all the battle scenes I omitted from Sita, all the warrior issues and male bonding that take up most Ramayana texts, you may find satisfaction in Flooding With Love. There are many other reasons to watch it; it’s a singular achievement, I can almost guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it before.

Hopefully it will screen again soon. It’s not yet available online, but it should be.

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“Sita” held over a fourth week at IFC

Sita and Agni

New schedule:

Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.
Wed, Jan 13 at: 12:45 PM, 2:20 PM, 6:05 PM, 7:55 PMThu, Jan 14 at: 12:45 PM, 2:20 PM, 6:05 PM, 7:55 PMFri, Jan 15 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMSat, Jan 16 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMSun, Jan 17 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMMon, Jan 18 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMTue, Jan 19 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PM

    Also: Coming soon to Symphony Space Sundays only, Jan 31 – Feb. 14 (2 shows on Valentine’s Day – perfect for those without valentines!)

    Sita held over 3rd week at IFC NY!

    nina-paley1.jpg Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.

    Wednesday Jan 6’s 7:55pm screening will be followed by a star-studded Q and A featuring Reena Shah (Sita), Todd Michaelsen (score), and Aseem Chhabra (Shadow Puppet #1), as well as myself. I will also do Q and A’s after every 7:55pm show through Sunday.

    Sita held over at IFC; now playing through January 5.

    NIna_IFC_pointing_640

    Woo! New showtimes – Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.

    I’m doing Q and A’s tonight and tomorrow after the 8:30ish shows, then Friday and Saturday after the 4:40pm shows. Then I might take a little break, who knows.

    The Little Movie That Could

    And the little Free Culture Activist that could, too:

    Sita Sings the Blues at the IFC Film Center, New York Dec. 25 2009

    Sita Sings the Blues at the IFC Film Center, New York Dec. 25 2009

    T-shirt available here. Come see the movie! It closes Dec. 31.

    FINALLY! Sita in NY Dec. 25-31

    SitaDropsJewelry

    Sita Sings the Blues plays for one week at New York’s IFC Film Center, Dec. 25-31. This is a real theatrical run, with 7 or 8 screenings a day. I’ll be doing Q & A’s at the 8:25 pm shows most (possibly all) nights. Tickets online!

    The schedule so far (click on the time to purchase tickets):

    IFC Film Center has beautiful screens and is located at 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street (map) in the West Village, right at the W. 4th St. Station (A, C, E, B, D, F, & V subway lines). Please tell all your NY friends and help us get butts in seats!

    Sita @IFC NY, Dec-25-31

    Finally the Sita IFC Film Center page is up. Tickets go on sale Monday Dec. 21. We begged them to do it sooner, but you’ll have to wait until Monday!SitaDropsJewelry

    Bill Cheswick’s New Way to See Movies

    Bill Cheswick prints entire films – I’m talkin’ every single frame of the film – on giant rolls of paper. Because Sita is open licensed, he was able to make cool new art with it without my permission, but he gave me this 30-foot-long print anyway!

    Ceswick_Levis_SitaPrintout

    From Cheswick’s site:

    Of course, I would like to try this on many other movies. The problem is one of copyright violation. While some argue this is fair use, it is clearly debatable, and I am not trying to blaze new legal ground here.

    I’m glad Sita’s open license removes that obstacle. I wouldn’t want to be left out of this party!

    Sita_Cheswick5

    Sita_Cheswick 2

    Sita NYC Theatrical Run Dec. 25-31, IFC Center

    That’s all I know so far – a multiple-shows-a-day run of Sita Sings the Blues at New York’s IFC Film Center, starting Dec. 25 (aka “Chrismas) and closing Dec. 31 (aka “New Year’s Eve”). More info like exact screening times and how to buy tickets coming soon. Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Help us promote it! I love you!

    IFC#1

    Nell Minow: Film Reviewer, “CEO Killer”

    So there I was reading an old New Yorker, and came across this article about a lawyer who exposes overpaid corporate CEOs. The name and the picture looked familiar. Could it be the same Nell Minow who interviewed me about Sita Sings the Blues? Why yes, it is! Turns out the “Movie Mom” is kicking ass and taking names in CEO land.

    “I believe that what we’ve seen recently is a corporate takeover of the capitalist system, to the benefit of certain actors in that system and to the detriment of everybody else.” —Nell Minow, aka “the Movie Mom”

    Filed under awesome.

    Sita at AFI Fest! Grauman’s Chinese Theater Nov. 3rd

    475px-Grauman's_Chinese_Theatre,_by_Carol_Highsmith_fixed_&_straightened

    Sita Sings the Blues is an official selection at LA’s American Film Institute festival! She’ll be screening in 35mm on a gigantic screen in the 1,100-seat Grauman’s Chinese Theater:

    10:00am on Tuesday, Nov. 3
    Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
    (big house on Hollywood Blvd., not Mann’s Chinese Six on 3rd floor H&H complex)
    6925 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90028

    Parking at Hollywood & Highland complex
    Enter on Highland at East side or Orange at West side

    Thanks, AFI!

    RiP: a Remix Manifesto

    RiP: a Remix Manifesto is a fun, accessible introduction to “Intellectual Property.” Below is one of my favorite sections, showing how culture is more than just songs and images.

    video platform
    video management
    video solutions
    free video player

    Of course it’s open source, so go watch the whole thing – or remix it.

    Back from Nerd Central

    And crazy busy. Chicago and Urbana and Ebertfest were great, amazing, beyond my ability to emotionally comprehend, I’ve never had a week like that before. Then to top it off, Sita won Best Narrative Feature at the Indian Film festival of Los Angeles, and moved to #1 on Critical Consensus. That’s just nuts.

    Anyway, it was great being back in Urbana, my hometown, where nerds are made as well as born. I was raised nerd, by nerds, and it’s only a fluke that I appear to be an artist; my heart belongs to nerd-dom. Want proof? Here I am visiting family friend, genius, and art-supporter Theo Gray at Wolfram Research:ninatheo.jpg
    My Free Culture activism is nerdy too, inspired as it is by the Free Software movement. Theo doesn’t like it, and made fiercely pro-copyright arguments as only a proprietary software nerd can.

    theoninatable.jpg

    For contrast, here’s a picture of me with Richard Stallman in New York:
    ninastallman.jpg
    Whose side am I on, anyway? The side of NERDS!

    Back to Illinois

    I left my hometown of Urbana, IL, almost 21 years ago, with dreams of becoming a new age crystal-wielding hippie. I was 20 years old. Now I’m 40 (almost 41!) and will be returning with a feature film, for a film festival that didn’t exist when I was growing up. But first: the University of Chicago!

    Who’da thunk back in 1988, that I’d be blogging about this in 2009? We couldn’t even imagine blogs back then.

    Sita DVD announcement list

    We’re almost done authoring the Sita Sings the Blues DVD packaging and getting an order fulfillment service to ship it. Meanwhile, here’s something to do: sign up here with just your email address, and we’ll send you an mail with ordering information as soon as it’s ready.

    Because the “content” is free – you can download it all online – what we’re actually selling is DVD packaging, not the film itself. This includes a nicely printed full color recycled cardstock “eco” case, and a silkscreened “pre-downloaded” DVD with the film and various features like subtitles, the trailer, and some video interviews of me ranting about copyright. The DVD is a nice package, a real object, and you can actually own it – it’ll still be there even if the internet (or your connection to it) disappears.

    We’re planning two “Official” editions of the DVD packaging. The basic consumer version will be about $20:

    cover_predownloaded_1.jpg

    Then there’s the Artist’s Edition, which will be about $100. This will be a more elaborate package – 6 panels instead of 4 – numbered and signed by me. This edition will be limited to 4,999. Why 4,999? Because for every 5,000 DVDs sold, I have to make additional payments (beyond the $50,000 I have already paid) to the corporations that hold copyright monopolies on some of the music used in the film.  I don’t believe culture can be owned, and I’ve released my film under a free license to ensure that it can never be similarly trapped, but as long as the government enforces these monopolies, I must count DVDs.

    Artist’s Edition

    The cover art isn’t final but will be in a few days. I could use the “happy Sita” image on the artist’s edition, and the “artsy Sita” on the consumer version. Leave your suggestions now or forever hold your peace. Thanks!