R.I.P. Roger Ebert

I am so grateful I got to meet Roger Ebert in 2009, when he screened Sita Sings the Blues at Ebertfest. He couldn’t speak then, but he stood onstage while his computer’s synthetic voice read his comments and looked intently in my eyes to make sure I was taking it in. He really wanted me to receive his gift, which was hard because it was so generous.

Roger Ebert and Nina Paley at Eberfest 2009. Photo by Chris Anderson

Here is his longer review of Sita Sings the Blues, which brought many, many viewers to it.

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The Blue Carpet

Through this cinéma vérité documentary, you too can experience what it’s like to be a nobody on the red (actually blue) carpet, navigate ridiculous security theater, shake the hands of countless strangers, smile nervously, and above all, lose.

Featuring Nina Paley, Alistair Milne, Steven Beer, and dozens of celebrities and/or nobodies whose names I forget and whose permission I don’t have, so sue me. Camera: Nina Paley, with Steven Beer. Edited by Nina Paley in 2011.

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Dear Iceland

Dear Iceland,

I really want to visit your country in early to mid October. A festival in Sweden has invited me to speak around October 14-16, and would like to make a stopover before or after or both. I am greatly intrigued by Iceland’s Modern Media Initiative*. Might there be some way I could speak at a university there, or at least meet Icelanders involved with media reform and free speech issues?

Love,

–Nina

*P.S. OK, not just the Modern Media Initiative. I’m also intrigued by your giant thermal pools.

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa Close to Reykjavik, Iceland

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The Betty Boop Festival

Boy have I been remiss in posting news. First item: I spent last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, attending the Betty Boop Festival.

There I learned about the fascinating subculture of Betty Boop collectors. Betty was big in Japan in the 1930’s – I had no idea. I wish there were pictures of Japanese Betty collectibles online I could share with you, but there aren’t; maybe Betty collectors are all cagey due to the intense licensing restrictions that surround the character.

I also learned more about animation legend Grim Natwick, who grew up in Wisconsin Rapids before moving to LA and changing cultural history.

I met a lot of people including Madison filmmaker Robert Lughai, who blogged this Boop Festival report with photos. I also met the venerable Maggie Thompson of the venerable Comic Buyer’s Guide, who shares her Boop Festival report.

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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!

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I’m outta here

I’ll be in Europe until October 17 (on which date I will be speaking at MoMA!) so I may be virtually non-existent online. Or not, depending on how many free wireless connections are available and how well my netbook holds up.

Again, I’m gonna be in:

France:
September 25 – NancyA l’ère Libre Festival de la culture Libre
September 26 – Pessac, near Bordeaux
Journée des Cultures Libres
Armenia:
October 3-6 – YerevanReAnimania Animation Festival
London:
Oct. 14-16 – Power to the Pixel Conference

Have fun while I’m away! Don’t burn the house down!

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