Hey there, Drinkers!
Tonight we’re getting cultured with the crowd-funded animated film Sita Sings the Blues while sipping on a delightfully unusual Indra Kunindra. Since there’s a lot to talk about, let’s just dive right in, shall we?
First off, I can take no credit for choosing tonight’s film. My dear friend Anne over at We Recycle Movies suggested I check this film so all the credit goes to her and her expansive mental library of movies. Secondly, this is not a film that people have heard of it. As far as I know, it had almost no theatrical distribution and has probably made zero money. A big reason why that’s the case is because Nina Paley, the filmmaker who pretty much did everything on this project, released the film for free under the Creative Commons. You can actually watch it right now here. And I’d recommend doing so. Once you get past the first few weird minutes, you’ll find yourself deeply in love with this insightful, heartfelt and funny semi-historical film. As a frame of reference, the film is divided into three different animation styles, each of which is responsible for a portion of the narrative. One tells a breakup story of the filmmaker. Another is an interesting history lesson in the Indian story the Ramayan, as narrated by three hilarious shadow puppets. The third informs the previous two through musical acts set the beautiful music of 20’s blues singer Annette Hanshaw. As disparate as they are, the three stories and visual styles all blend together beautifully. The visual imagination of Nina Paley, combined with some fantastic storytelling and some truly wonderful music creates a movie-watching experience that is simply a delight.
What I think I liked most about this film was its playfulness. What could have easily been an esoteric history lesson is transformed into something fun, understandable and relatable. Our shadow puppet narrators navigate their way through the story’s inconsistencies for us and turn our questions into humor. And it’s so effortless! On top of this, there’s even a three minute intermission just when your brain needs a micro-break from the oddity that is this film. Finally, it’s great to know that this film was crowd-funded. In both the opening titles and closing credits, the filmmaker goes out of her way to thank everyone involved in making this project come to life. And as someone who contributed nothing to this project, it feels great!
And the Indra Kunindra? Well, as it turns out, I clearly can’t stay away from Ballast Point Brewing Company since this is my second in a row here on BAAM. But I really do love this brewery and this beer is a major factor in that. The beer’s label classifies this brew as a “India-style export stout” which I guess explains it but fails to fully encompass what it really going on in this beer. So let me break it down for you. Take an export stout (i.e. a stout that is super dark, malty and high in ABV) and throw in a host of spices. I’m talking curry, coconut, cayenne, cumin and so many more. It’s kinda crazy. The beer is still super smooth but it has this tiny kick. You so clearly get the curry and cayenne but they never overpower that solid, chocolately malt backbone. It’s quite impressive. And you don’t even realize that this beer is 7%! Bonus! To put it in perspective; this is only the second time I’ve had this beer and it easily ranks up in my top three favorite beers. It’s so good that I’ve even written about in previous posts from about a year ago. And the impression that it made! Anyway, If you see an Indra Kunindra at your local beer shop, I demand you buy. DEMAND!
So there you have it, folks. One of our more legit, classy BAAM combos. We had an accessible art film with an accesible crazy-spicy stout. I truly enjoyed this pairing and I recommend to everyone to check out both of these bad boys. Whether together or separate, they’re sure to put a smile on your face.
And as always keep drinking, my friends!
Sita Sings the Blues:
-Fantastic music. Perfectly integrated.