Sita Sings the Blues . . . online!

My favorite animated feature last year, the undistributed Sita Sings the Blues, created almost entirely in Flash by Nina Paley, has become Thirteen.org‘s first feature to be streamed in its entirety on their website. The film has been idling in legal limbo for many months because of its use of 80-year-old pop songs Paley hasn’t had the resources to purchase, but PBS stations have special rules governing their broadcasts that allow the work to be shown.

However, note Paley’s new post at her blog:

“Many more formats will be online by March 7th, the day Sita Sings the

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Bernardo Rondeau at LACMA

I’m still trying to post some reviews from AFI FEST, but my baby has been in the hospital for “minor” surgery this week and everything else has been put to the side.

In the meantime, I was able to attend a few Festival screenings with the LACMA film program coordinator Bernardo Rondeau, which became a highlights of my Festival experience, and he has just posted a “Best of AFI” write-up at the LACMA blog, Unframed.

Los Angeles is famous for its diversity and dispersal, and while its film culture doesn’t benefit from the kind of concentrated public transit and …

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AFI FEST repeats


The Class

In case you missed some of the higher profile films at AFI FEST this week, here’s a list of some of the films that will have upcoming screenings or distribution in Los Angeles:

• Slumdog Millionaire (LACMA preview on 11/11; Landmark release on 11/12; Laemmle release on 12/21)
• Gomorrah (American Cinematheque screening on 11/11; Laemmle release on 12/19)
• A Christmas Tale (Landmark release on 11/14; Laemmle release on 11/14)
• Lion’s Den (American Cinematheque screening on 11/22)
• Hunger (Nuart release on 12/5)
• Wendy and Lucy (Laemmle release on 12/12)
• The Wrestler (LACMA preview

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Halloween viewing


Peter Tscherkassky’s Outer Space (1999)

I’m wondering if anyone has any superior horror films or recent discoveries they’d recommend?

I still think Romero’s last zombie movie, Diary of the Dead, is a fantastic genre piece with impressive stylistic qualities (first person camerawork, documentary footage of Katrina) and incisive social commentary, as is typical for the series.

Last year, I watched a lot of the Hammer titles I had never seen, and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) was probably the most complex and emotionally resonating, with a very evocative sense of the Gothic.

Two years ago, I was blown away …

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Unknown Forces

Last night at the REDCAT, Thai filmmaker (and graduate of Chicago’s School of the Art Institute) Apichatpong Weerasethakul opened his first solo exhibition in the US, entitled Unknown Forces (2007). A filmmaker who often blends narrative and experimental techniques (particularly structural innovation) in his feature films, I learned he also produces and distributes avant garde works through his company Kick the Machine, and has created several video installations for gallery spaces over the years.

Unknown Forces is set up in a bare, roughly 40-foot-square, darkened room, with four large, looping video images projected on three walls, and a …

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La Commune (Paris, 1871)

British filmmaker Peter Watkins’ nearly six-hour film, La Commune (Paris, 1871), made in the year 2000, is without a doubt one of the best and most important films of the decade, and it was just released this week on DVD by First Run Features. Count yourselves lucky–the film, which commemorates the short-lived working class attempt to turn France into a socialist republic following its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, has rarely been screened in France or elsewhere, although I’ve had the French DVD on hand ever since I first saw the film at a special screening in Los Angeles …

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