Posts tagged "Benh Zeitlin"

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild


2012
Written by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
Directed by Benh Zeitlin

Beasts of the Southern Wild
It may not be the best film of the year (though close!), but Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of those films that makes loving cinema great. An epic quest set against a backdrop of a unique and dying culture that exists outside but alongside our modern world, Beasts evokes wonder, tragedy, poverty, desperate struggle, and hope.

Beasts builds a believable world, sets up a culture of people and a believable lifestyle. The Cajun bayou living off the land is a way people do live in remote Gulf areas. Heck, some of them even have reality shows like Swamp’d! The denizens of the Bathtub live in an area full of life. Living things are all around them, the swamp is full of critters and plants, everyone has animals (dogs, chickens, pigs…) and there is always a harvest of shrimp or crab or fish freshly caught just a few seconds ago.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
But the Bathtub exists with the Sword of Damocles dangling overhead. The whole area is below sea level, and on the other side of a huge levee built to keep out the water. The constant reminder is the ice caps are starting to melt, and eventually the Bathtub will be underwater. Part of why the residents are so carefree and celebratory is the spirit that the world may soon be gone. But the other reason is they have little else to do but get drunk and party. The houses are all run down and crumbling away, the clothes are all raggedy, and most people speak with slurred speech while clutching a bottle. As we see things as Hushpuppy sees them, we see her joy and her fun and the firecrackers, we hear the music and it makes us feel free and fun. But you also see the grit behind the shine. The joy in the music helps give things a lighter air, the songs lifting things up, they are as full of life as the film, as the Bathtub.
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) – Lives in the Bathtub with her father, and the teller of the tale. Quvenzhané Wallis is an unknown with such a natural talent for acting, it is amazing. She’s now the youngest Academy Award nominee ever. And deserved.
Wink (Dwight Henry) – Hushpuppy’s father who isn’t about to leave his home even if it is about to be destroyed. Wants his daughter to be strong and independent. Is often wallowing in his own misery since Hushpuppy’s mom left him. Is also trying to hid his illness from Hushpuppy.
Aurochs (Pigs in fur coats) – Ancient aurochs tormented early man long ago, and have returned from the melted ice to eat those who are not brave.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
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2 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , ,