Posted by Eric Stumpf
Behn Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" opens at the Saratoga Film Forum at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, and Friday, Oct. 5, and again at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7.
The winner of a grand jury prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a must see. Filmed in Louisiana, the movie is based on the real life community of Isle de Jean Charles. The story explores the power of nature and its ability to take away everything. It follows six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis)and her father (Dwight Henry), who live in an enchanting tumbledown community called the Bathtub. The story explores Hushpuppy's imagination and reality while her life is completely turned upside down by a number of apocalyptic events that she believes she has caused.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" gives hope to the future of the film industry. For some who truly appreciate film, the rabble of 3D, high budget nonsense that Hollywood has been spewing out lately certainly arouses feelings of hopelessness (perhaps, at a certain point, many filmmakers made a deal with the devil, agreeing to lower quality in exchange for more explosions).
Behn Zeitlin, first time screenwriter and director, will shatter any preconceived notions you may have about young filmmakers. He brings a new spirit to the film industry that fights conformity. Most filmmakers, for example, shy away from child actors, animals, and filming on the water-Zeitlin's film is abouta child on the water with animals. Zeitlin spent eight months in casting, looking at over 3,500 children for the part of Hushpuppy. The entire cast is made up of untrained actors that will completely blow you away.
The cinematography is equally fantastic. This movie will move you, and provide some assurance that artistic and experimental film isn't dead.
Relevant Majors: Performing Arts, Psychology, History, American Studies, Sociology, English, Studio Art, Environmental Studies and Music
Look out next week for a review of "Bully," coming to the Film Forum on Oct. 11.