The most striking film of the summer is Benh Zeitlin‘s first feature Beasts of the Southern Wild. The movie follows a young girl, Hushpuppy, as her patched-together coastal world starts to crumble. Her father falls prey to a sickness, and her home is destroyed, as giant horned boars, called Aurochs, are freed from icy prisons before rampaging towards Hushpuppy in a charge of… well, that’s the part I’ll leave to the film.
While Beasts isn’t much of a spoil-able story, this featurette might give a bit more away than some like. So those who have seen the film are a better audience for this than others. The Aurochs have a heavy presence in the story, and seeing them created in very simple ways provides a stark contrast to the images in the movie.
Take a look at how tiny pigs became monsters, below. Read More »
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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam respond to your feedback about The Amazing Spider-Man, join Team Margaret, and review one of the most thrilling documentaries of the year.
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Editor’s Note: We’re re-running Germain’s review of this film from Sundance, as Beasts of the Southern Wild is in theaters now, and very much deserves your attention.
When the film world converged on Park City, Utah for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, several movies were highly anticipated. Beasts of the Southern Wild was not one of them. But in the truest and most exciting tradition of this legendary film festival, word of mouth after the first screening spread like wildfire and Benh Zeitlin‘s directorial debut became the talk of the town. Fox Searchlight purchased the film for distribution and screenings later in the week all sold out.
So does Beasts of the Southern Wild live up to those wild expectations? Absolutely. It creates an entire new world where a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) lives in squalor with her father Wink (Dwight Henry). When Wink gets sick, Hushpuppy’s world is almost literally turned upside down and she must come to grips with her inner strength, her mortality, and a whole lot more.
After the jump, read more about this fantastic film or – if you aren’t in a reading mood – watch a video blog featuring Peter and myself. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012 by Angie Han
Forget costumed heroes, vampire hunters, rogue assassins, and ’80s action stars — the summer flick I’m really dying to see centers around a six-year-old girl. Beasts of the Southern Wild, a fantasy drama from first-time director Benh Zeitlin, flew almost completely under the radar before it hit Sundance in January. In the months since, however, it feels like no one’s been able to stop raving about it.
That kind of buzz can get downright annoying when a film takes too long to jump from the festival circuit into theaters, but fortunately Fox Searchlight isn’t holding out too long for this one and has it slated to open later this month. The first trailer released last month offered a small glimpse of the movie’s magic, and now they’ve given us an enchanting new clip and an intriguing featurette to go with it.
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Almost every year, people leave the Sundance Film Festival talking about a film no one had heard of before the festival began. This year, that movie – without a shadow of a doubt – was the breathtaking Beasts of the Southern Wild. Benh Zeitlin‘s directorial debut creates a fascinating and magical new world that both feels real and fantastic at the same time. The story focuses on a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) who lives in squalor with her father Wink (Dwight Henry). When Wink gets sick, Hushpuppy’s world is almost literally turned upside down and she must come to grips with her inner strength, her mortality, and a whole lot more.
Fox Searchlight bought the rights to the film and will release it on June 27. Now, the first trailer has just been released. Check it out below. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 by Angie Han
Briefly: The problem with following film news but not attending the Sundance Film Festival is that each year, there are a few highly praised titles that take forever to hit regular theaters. Take Sound of My Voice, for example. Though it helped mark Brit Marling as one of the hottest talents to emerge from last year’s event, non-festivalgoers will have waited for over a year to watch the movie by the time it finally gets a theatrical release this April.
Thankfully, Fox Searchlight is moving a bit faster on this year’s most buzzed-about film, Benh Zeitlin‘s Louisiana-set fantasy drama Beasts of the Southern Wild. The company snapped up U.S. distribution rights following Beasts‘ first screening, and it’s now slated the Grand Jury Prize winner for a limited release on June 29. Still a few months away, but it could be so much worse. While you wait, revisit Germain’s review of the film, and check out Zeitlin’s earlier short film Glory at Sea.
As for cinephiles abroad, while we don’t have all the details on international releases of the film just yet, there’s some good news for Spanish folks. Arthouse Golem Distribucion has just picked up all Spanish distribution rights to Beasts, in a deal with Toronto-based sales company eOne Films International.
[Sources: Box Office Mojo Twitter, Variety]
For ten days each January, in the snowy town of Park City, Utah, the year in independent cinema is set. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival was true to that promise and provided attendees with a slew of films that are sure to be not only among the year’s best, but in the hunt for awards come Oscar time next year.
Along with Peter Sciretta, I was once again deep in the trenches of Park City – battling bus schedules, lack of sleep, snow, slush and more – to see as many movies as possible to try and get an idea of what the rest of 2012 holds. And it’s looking good.
We all know that the next few months hold an unprecedented offering of big budget blockbusters but companies like Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, IFC, Magnolia and more all bolstered their upcoming release schedules by purchasing some of the best films of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The official awards have been handed out, but what were our favorites?
After the jump read about the best films of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Read More »
The Sundance Film Festival prepared to come to a close for 2012 tonight as the festival held its some of its last screenings and mounted an awards ceremony to celebrate the best films of this year’s festival. The biggest jury prizes went to Beasts of the Southern Wild (reviewed here) and Eugene Jarecki‘s war on drugs documentary The House I Live In.
The Surrogate (reviewed here) took an Audience Award, as did the doc Searching for Sugar Man (reviewed here) and the film Valley of Saints. The full list of awards is below. Read More »
As I’ve started to read about the Sundance film Beasts of the Southern Wild (check our review here), what keeps coming to mind is something like the early films of David Gordon Green filtered through the sensibility of author China Mieville. The film shows us the world through the eyes of a six-year old girl, but that world isn’t quite ‘real.’ It is the creation of director Benh Zeitlin. His landscape is based in part on a post-Katrina Louisiana landscape, but it also has many other elements, some realistic and some fantastic, woven into its fabric.
But rather than looking to some esoteric and possibly way off-base comparison to get an idea of what Beasts of the Southern Wild might be like, let’s look back to the 2008 short film from the same director. Glory at Sea is also by Zeitlin, and like his new feature the short is also set in a landscape that is at least influenced by the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina. But this is no When the Levees Broke; rather it is a film that uses images that suggest a devastated Louisiana as part of a story about following faith and vision even in the aftermath of apocalypse.
Zeitlin breaks many rules of shooting low-budget indie films: he shoots with kids, and on the water, and with a couple of wild, homemade sets. Well, ‘sets’ is a loosely applicable term, but you’ll see what I mean. Glory at Sea is a pretty fantastic 25-minute short, and I highly recommend giving it a look. Read More »