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PRESS RELEASE: Seder-Masochism to go Public Domain January 31, 2019

—PRESS RELEASE—

On Thursday, January 31, Nina Paley will dedicate her new feature film Seder-Masochism to the public domain, releasing master files on archive.org.

Seder-Masochism, an animated musical, loosely follows the Passover Seder story, with events from the Book of Exodus retold by Moses, Aharon, the Angel of Death, Jesus and the director’s father. The film puts a twist on the traditional Biblical story by including a female deity perspective – the Goddess in a tragic struggle against the forces of patriarchy.

Seder-Masochism has been in the works since 2012 when Paley first animated a scene called This Land Is Mine, a parody about never-ending conflict in the Levant which has been viewed over 10 million times on various online channels.

In addition, Paley has written and designed a companion book, The Seder-Masochism: A Haggadah and Anti-Haggadah, currently available through Amazon.

Paley released her first feature, Sita Sings the Blues, for free to the public in March 2009 under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license, dedicating it to the public domain 5 years later. Contradicting movie industry expectations, the more people saw Sita online, the more they sought it out in theaters and film festivals. In December 2009, Sita enjoyed a 5-week run at the IFC Film Center in New York (extended by popular demand beyond its planned 1-week run), and it continues screening in theaters, festivals, and special events to this day.

Accustomed to working outside the mainstream movie industry, Paley has made Seder-Masochism a one-woman project: she wrote, directed, and animated it herself on a total budget of $20,000. Being independent allows her to release and distribute her films in unorthodox ways – such as into the public domain.

A Public Domain dedication (using a Creative Commons license called CC-0) means anyone can re-use, remix, and redistribute the work, with no restrictions. All of Paley’s animation and images will be free for anyone to use however they wish; however the music will continue to be controlled by its copyright holders.

Paley has no plans to pursue commercial distribution for Seder-Masochism. “I claim Fair Use for the music, but distributors are loath to do that. Instead they’d want to obtain music licenses, which would be daunting,” she says.

Seder-Masochism has screened at nearly 20 festivals thus far, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Annecy International Animation Festival, and the Jewish International Film Festival of Australia. It is scheduled for more festivals through Spring 2019, including the New York Jewish Film Festival in January.

The Digital Cinema Package (DCP) release will be issued later in 2019, so that upcoming film festivals can be assured of regional theatrical premieres.

The release of her films into the public domain is just the latest effort Paley has undertaken to advocate for Free Culture. In 2008, while navigating copyright for Sita Sings the Blues, she joined the nonprofit QuestionCopyright.org as artist-in-residence, where she later created a series of shorts about Free Culture called Minute Memes. She has spoken extensively about copy restrictions and art, including her 2015 TEDx talk “Copyright is Brain Damage”.

For more information, visit sedermasochism.com or email nina@sedermasochism.com.

Seder-Masochism at the NY Jewish Film Festival!

Seder-Masochism at the NY Jewish Film Festival Sunday January 13 at 9pm & Monday January 14 at 3:45pm. I will be at both screenings! Buy tickets here.

Death of Firstborn

Can anyone identify this unusual bike?

It’s a folding crank-forward, with one hinge in the middle and one on the steering column. It’s branded Specialized and stickered Belize Bikes Canada (I’ve checked their web site, they no longer sell anything remotely like this). It looks sort of like a prototype of the Tartaruga, but it probably isn’t. I just bought it from a guy from Chicago, whose only information about its provenance was he got it from a neighbor. It’s old, but how old? The serial number on the steering tube is JP05048017.

The backrest is useless – my back doesn’t come close to reaching it while my butt is on the somewhat slippery seat – but it is a remarkably comfortable ride. Maybe it’s that great big shock absorber, or maybe it’s the  squishy tires, which specify “inflate to 35 pounds”. It’s slow, even at its top gear, which is 6.

I’ve searched various combinations of the following terms: specialized, crank forward, semi recumbent, folding bike. I have yet to find a picture of this bike anywhere.

What is it?

IMG_0899IMG_0900 IMG_0901IMG_0906 IMG_0907 IMG_0908

Evolution of a pin design

First I wanted it to be 1.25″ tall, and a cut-out shape:

But this would snag on clothes, and bend. So I came up with this:

But it looks like a bottle opener. Plus the Chinese pin-making company emailed me back that a cut-out like this would have to be at least 2″ long. So instead of cut-out details I designed for 1.5″ hard enamel:

But then I thought to make the details shiny metal, and the main area color, with a thicker outline that would make the pin more stable:

But then I thought, why not make

Continue reading Evolution of a pin design

Fecebook/Venmo reading private messages to divert financial transactions

UPDATE: 1. Paypal owns Venmo. 2. E was on his phone, I was at my desktop. I removed fecebook and messenger (ant twitter!) from my phone over a year ago, for increasingly obvious reasons.

It’s difficult to copy-and-paste a fecebook messenger conversation into a blog post, but I tried, because I want people to know about fecebook reading a private conversation about sending money through PayPal, and instantly creating an unauthorized transaction request without either party’s knowledge or permission. Below, text from a conversation between me and E in Fecebook messenger, December 16 2018:

E: Hey where is the pay pal link? I’m not finding it. Or do you have Venmo, that’s

Continue reading Fecebook/Venmo reading private messages to divert financial transactions

The Seder-Masochism Book

Graven-on-demand copies available here! Transparency: I get about $6 per $35 order. Hopefully by next year some publisher will have them offset-printed in hardcover with sewn bindings, but until then, graven-on-demand is it.

It’s a Haggadah! It’s an Anti-Haggadah! It’s coming soon! It’s almost 200 pages, in full color! Here are some pictures of the proof I just got.

Graven-on-demand copies available here! Transparency: I get about $6 per $35 order. Hopefully by next year some publisher will have them offset-printed in hardcover with sewn bindings, but until then,

Continue reading The Seder-Masochism Book

Fall 2018 North American Festival Tour wrap-up

In the last month I traveled to Ottawa, Vancouver, Mill Valley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles, to attend numerous screenings of Seder-Masochism, including the festivals below:

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This is a LONG post with lots of photos, so start after the fold. Continue reading Fall 2018 North American Festival Tour wrap-up

Seder-Masochism festivals, September-October 2018

Festivals marked with * and Bold are ones I’m attending in person!

 

Athens International Film Festival
Athens, Greece
September 19-30

AnimaSyros
Syros, Greece
September 26-30

* Ottawa International Animation Festival
Ottawa, Canada
September 26-30 2018

* Vancouver International Film Festival
Vancouver, Canada
September 27-October 12 (SM screenings October 3 & 4)

* Mill Valley Film Festival
Mill Valley, CA
October 4-14 (SM screenings October 8 & 9)

* The Goddess Animated
Capitola, CA
October 14

* Animation Is Film
Los Angeles CA
October 19-21 (SM screening October 19)

Fredrikstad Animation Festival
Fredrikstad, Norway
October 25-28

AniNation International Animation festival
Jerusalem, Israel
October 24-27

Big Cartoon Festival
Moscow, Russia
October 26-November 3

 

Festivals marked with * and Bold are ones I’m attending in person!   Athens International Film Festival Athens, Greece September 19-30 AnimaSyros Syros, Greece September 26-30 * Ottawa International Animation Festival Ottawa,

Continue reading Seder-Masochism festivals, September-October 2018

DCPs

10+ years ago, when I was preparing Sita Sings the Blues for film festivals, I had to make heavy, unwieldy, and expensive 35mm film prints. Thankfully I don’t have to do that any more. Instead, today’s cinemas use DCP (for Digital Cinema Package) hard drives. These take advantage of advances in digital technology, as fucked up by a film industry that can’t cope with advances in digital technology. Thanks to the insane and byzantine encoding protocols designed by Hollywood to thwart what computers are inherently best at – copying – making DCPs has long been shrouded in mystery and prohibitive costs.

Since I’m cheap and have practically no income these days, I didn’t want to use a DCP-making service

Continue reading DCPs

Ten Plagues Illustrated

I illustrated the Plagues with videoclips in 2015, but never assembled still images before. Again, thinking about a book…

 

 

Blood

Frogs

Lice

Flies

Murrain (cattle disease)

Boils

Hail (and fire)

Locusts

Darkness

Death of the Firstborn Egyptians

I illustrated the Plagues with videoclips in 2015, but never assembled still images before. Again, thinking about a book…     Blood Frogs Lice Flies Murrain (cattle disease)

Continue reading Ten Plagues Illustrated

Dayenu Illustrated

As I contemplate making a Seder-Masochism Haggadah, I chose some stills to illustrate the Passover song “Dayenu”. Song does not reflect my own opinions, etc.

If He had brought us out from Egypt,

and not carried out judgements against them,

– Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had carried out judgements against them,

and not against their idols

– Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had destroyed their idols,

and not killed their first-born

– Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had killed

Continue reading Dayenu Illustrated

Seder-Masochism Wikipedia article

Today (September 10 2018) it was on Wikipedia’s main page, so I got screenshots for posterity. The article itself is here. As of my last reading it had not yet been defaced by misogynists! But sooner or later it will be.

Today (September 10 2018) it was on Wikipedia’s main page, so I got screenshots for posterity. The article itself is here. As of my last reading it had

Continue reading Seder-Masochism Wikipedia article

October 14 event with Zsuzsanna Budapest

I’ll be returning to my old stomping grounds of Santa Cruz, CA in October (actually part of a longer North American film festival tour with Seder-Masochism, which I’ll announce soon).

Animated poster! Please share.

The Goddess Animated: Nina Paley and Zsuzsanna Budapest

Double feature of Nina Paley animation! Each screening followed by dialog with Zsuzsanna Budapest and question-and-answer with audience.

1pm: Sita Sings the Blues
2009 Dir. Nina Paley
Paley’s award-winning 2009 animated musical interpretation of the Hindu epic Ramayana has earned widespread critical praise, a 100% rating on RottenTomatoes, and continued places on best-of lists. Roger Ebert wrote of it, “I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one

Continue reading October 14 event with Zsuzsanna Budapest