Inspiration (a.k.a. Artist’s Prayer)

Our Idea
Which art in the Ether
That cannot be named;

Thy Vision come
Thy Will be done
On Earth, as it is in Abstraction.

Give us this day our daily Spark
And forgive us our criticisms
As we forgive those who critique against us;

And lead us not into stagnation
But deliver us from Ego;

For Thine is the Vision
And the Power
And the Glory forever.



Sita #1 rated film on Rotten Tomatoes

Sita Sings the Blues is Rotten Tomatoes’ best-reviewed film of the year. Today, anyway. To preserve this precious moment, I took a screen shot.



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


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.



Sita awards_640

A documentarian working on a short film about Free Culture wanted some images of the awards Sita Sings the Blues has received. So I gathered up most of what I have here (they’re not all in my apartment) and put them on a table for the camera man. I was so proud I took a photo of them myself, which I now am shamelessly posting to my blog. I am blushing even as I do this, but not enough to stop me. Thank you, generous givers of awards!


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


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!


Coming Soon to a Bicycle Wheel Near You!


Thanks to her open license, Sita is gracing Star Simpson’s amazing bike wheel LED display:

“…one of the things I’ve been doing is trying to find good Creative Commons-licensed/free use images for MonkeyLectric’s POV bike wheel demos, so that we can make and publish videos showing what our bike wheel display can do, without fear of litigation, and it’s been a bit tough to find good images that work really well on our wheel. UNTIL! I learned of the animated movie Sita Sings the Blues…”

Yes, she will be animated. Free Culture: on the cutting edge of awesome.


Sita Now Playing in Second Life


I’ve heard and read about Second Life, but I don’t go there because I don’t have enough time for my First Life. But for those of you with lives there, Scott Crawford writes:

…I now have Sita streaming on demand in the 2nd floor balcony hookah lounge of my club there, which is called Heck. If you’ve got Second Life installed, you can check it out here:

The screen has sort of a big screen tv/living room feel to it (I don’t currently have the resources to reopen the full movie theater I once had set up there), but I think the setup’s got cool ambience (unless you’re rabidly anti-drug, in which case, the hookah setup probably isn’t your cup of tea, as it’s not set up for tobacco, but we are talking virtual smoking rather than real smoking here), and if people click the screen, it offers them the option to go to the Sita site as well, so hopefully it kicks some more business and attention yours and the film’s way.

Thanks, Scott!


Gained in Translation

A succinct description of my copyright issues from an Estonian blog“showing the ass and the bureaucratic world is in places.”

Sita Sings the Blues is an interesting project. Namely, the film has a good standing for the preparation of Nina Paley Free Culture Movemendi ie maakeeli supporter of the free culture movement, and hence it calls for free to see their movies and others to show. Who has Ninale may want to donate money in your account, but it is not mandatory. Muusikamaailmas is such a free offer their own popularity to gather in silence. It seemed okay, for example, whether the move indiefilmid legally allalaetavateks. Who can be a very jamada to read a film Sita Sings the Blues also legal to write DVD-only 100% after a conscientious must pay royalties to the songs for the movie sound. The fact that some companies have a song from one of 27.5% and 19.25% U.S. soil in the world, showing the ass and the bureaucratic world is in places. Ah, who see the movie Home of the interest-

Read the rest…


Ravana enjoys some Free Culture

A giant sculpture of Ravana from Sita Sings the Blues showed up at “World Laughter Day” in Hyderabad. Photo by Krishnendu Halder. Thanks to Lev for the tip!

Update: Jym found this story about the Ravana “Recession Monster.”


With a name like AWESOMEPEDIA, it’s gotta be AWESOME


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.



Or so says the Critical Consensus (for now – Sita has a teensy review sample size).

UPDATE: April 12 says we’re number TWO.

UPDATE UPDATE: April 28 says we’re NUMBER ONE. Unbelievable.


Thank You Free Culture

How many independent animators get a Bangok high fashion line named after their film? None, unless they let people share:

“First of the treats for fans of the brand this year is the presentation of its Spring/Summer 2009 collection. Titled “Sita Sings the Blues” after the stunning animation film by US cartoonist/artist Nina Paley, the collection was unveiled for the first time to fans and fashionistas in the form of a choreographed presentation against the backdrop of the famed animation….” link


NYT w00t

In this Sunday’s New York Times Arts Section:


I’d post a photo of the whole thing, but that would probably be violating copyright, so instead I’ll wait until the story goes online tonight and link to it. Link


James Kochalka’s “Sita”


Like this isn’t the coolest thing ever: Sita’s first “derivative work”! There she is, in an American Elf comic by James Kochalka! Seeing this comic was a “really so amazing” huge honor for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing more “derivative works” in the future.