Monday, December 31, 2012

6. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Directed by Benh Zeitlin. I was drawn to this film after I saw an interview with the director and the leading actor, Quvenzhané Wallis, I found the story of how this film got be as well as how it was casted fascinating. It is definitely a difficult film to explain. In his feature debut, director Benh Zeitlin has stirred up a magic pot of poetry, touching upon subjects like neo-realism, surrealism, pre-historic creatures, the ice age, childhood and lost cultures. The film is a symphony of curiosity that builds toward a glorious crescendo. It’s set on an island known as “The Bathtub,” located outside the Louisiana levees. It’s a forbidden land, off-limits according to the government, but misfits still inhabit it, living in makeshift shelters and using vehicles that would be at home in a post-apocalyptic world. If Zeitlin’s sheer ambition weren’t enough, the film’s young star and narrator, Quvenzhané Wallis, was born with a magnetic screen presence. Six-year-old Wallis injects Beasts with youthful verve. The story is told through her character’s curious eyes, and she emits so much lovable hope that it’s impossible not to follow her.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" appeared to be a smaller film. It was made as such. But this perfect first feature that tells the tale of Hushpuppy and her magical world proved to be everything Where the Wild Things Are should have been, and by the time Oprah was singing its praises, more than a few people had discovered the extraordinary gem.

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