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Saturday Morning Hinduism

Introductions to major figures: Lord Shiva (8:55), Lord Ganesha (10:41), Lord Hanuman (11:25), and Lord Krishna (12:38). But it really doesn't end there. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Apr 20, 2013 - 17 comments

Not singing the blues anymore.

Nina Paley's animated film, Sita Sings the Blues, has been mentioned here several times before. It's a retelling of the classic Indian epic Ramayana, featuring the 1920s jazz recordings of singer Annette Hanshaw, interspersed with the story of Nina's own troubled marriage-- and despite critical accolades, it's been languishing due to copyright issues surrounding the 80-year-old Hanshaw songs. But things seem to be finally looking up for Ms. Paley: she has worked out a distribution plan, the movie will be broadcast on New York PBS station WNET on March 7, and the whole thing is finally available online, at thirteen.org. [more inside]
posted by bookish on Feb 27, 2009 - 30 comments

Down By (Copyright) Law

Why is Nina Paley depressed? Her debut feature film, Sita Sings the Blues — which she animated herself in Adobe Flash — screened to general acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It won the best feature-film award at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival and best American feature at the Avignon Film Festival. Oh, wait, here’s the problem — she can’t find a distributor willing to take a chance on her unconventional, very personal film. (This is a bad year to be shopping an indie.) Because she doesn’t have “synch rights” to the compositions underlying the Annette Hanshaw songs that inspired the story — and now constitute its backbone — she can’t give the film away. Having invested so much in striking prints of the film for festivals and making screener DVDs for press, she’s too broke to pay the $220,000 it would take to clear the 11 songs for distribution. (Don’t miss the spreadsheet showing exactly how much the various players expect her to pay to clear each 80-year-old song.) And now she notes, with tongue maybe half in cheek, she may be on the hook for felony copyright infringement. Also, she’s newly homeless. What’s an indie animator to do? Previously discussed here and here.
posted by Joey Bagels on Sep 29, 2008 - 83 comments

Rama's Bridge or Adam's Bridge

Indian Government withdraws scepticism of bridge-building monkey army
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 14, 2007 - 48 comments

Indian Superhero Comics

Super Indian: Superhero comics from the culture that invented the genre. Check out Nagraj (and Nagrani?), Tiranga, and Shakti. The somewhat less muscular Chacha Chaudhary. And... whatever is happening here. Meanwhile fun British rich guy Richard Branson brings you Indian-themed comics Ramayan 3392 A.D., Snake Woman (another Naga), Devi and The Sadhu. previously. Dishoom!
posted by Methylviolet on Feb 27, 2007 - 16 comments

Sita Sings the Blues

Sita Sings the Blues is a feature film (in progress) combining the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, the 1920's blues vocals of Annette Hanshaw, and classically informed but modern animation. The animator wanted to envision what the Ramayana would look like told through the eyes of its much loved and much maligned female character, Sita. This is not the first time the Ramayana has been retold from Sita's perspective, Sanctuary, a play by Hema Ramakrishna is a feminist reinterpretation that has garnered a lot of controversy. Retelling the Ramayana is part of the tradition.
posted by arcticwoman on Sep 24, 2006 - 7 comments

How Hanuman Fell In Love and other stories.

Robam Apsara: The dance of celestial nymphs, classical Khmer dance is the single greatest link between the ancient Angkor civilization and contemporary times. Reputed to follow the ancient percepts laid down in the Natya Sastra, Khmer dance is sensual but spiritual, time-less and yet, so very reconstructivist (all YouTube videos). It is such a delight to watch that a single performance will keep you enthralled for months. Extremely saddening, then, when you realize that it survived only by the barest of history's strands. more inside
posted by the cydonian on Aug 3, 2006 - 10 comments

The Sitayana

Sita Sings the Blues. Nina Paley's animated retelling of Sita's story from the Ramayana, with vocals by Annette Hanshaw (torrents here, via Boing Boing).
posted by homunculus on May 1, 2005 - 14 comments

The Mythical Quest

The Mythical Quest, an old exhibition at the British Library. 'Throughout the world, tales have always been told of heroes and heroines embarking on perilous quests in search of lost loved ones, the secret of immortality, earthly paradise or simply great riches. Many of these stories have elements in common, such as clashes with monsters, battles with the elements, interventions by the gods and tests of moral character, mental cunning and physical strength. These tales have been expressed in songs, literature, art and dance for thousands of years, and are still being reinterpreted today in books, comic strips, interactive games and adventure films.'
More British Library exhibits here, from early Indian photography to the secret life of maps.
Examples of mythical quests :- Monkey: Journey to the West (another version here, not to mention the TV series); the Ramayana (and the Ramakian, the Thai version); Cupid and Psyche at the Classics Pages (subject of a previous thread); the Holy Grail (more at the Catholic Enyclopaedia); the journey of Alexander the Great; Pilgrim's Progress and John Bunyan; the world of Dante and a map of Hell.
posted by plep on Jul 11, 2003 - 17 comments

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