When I originally saw Beasts of the Southern Wild many months ago, my first thought as an aspiring filmmaker was that I would work for Benh Zeitlin for free as he’d just crafted one of the most glorious films of the year. My second thought, as an avid film lover, was to shake Mr. Zeitlin’s hand and congratulate him for the motion picture he had just made. I was fortunate enough to do the latter last night as Fox Searchlight held a reception for the film at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that included Zeitlin, lead actress Quvenzhané Wallis, actor Dwight Henry, cinematographer Ben Richardson, composer Dan Romer (who also composed with Zeitlin,) and finally, Lucy Alibar, whose one act play Juicy & Delicious inspired the film. Also in tow was a live orchestra that performed the wonderful music Mr. Zeitlin and Mr. Romer composed.
My initial thoughts on the film were that it was the most creative film I’d seen this year, and that Ms. Wallis better be prepping herself to have a gold statue on her shelf come Oscar time. A second time through my thoughts remain mostly unchanged, and dare I say the film works better on the second go-around. The film has been hailed as “one that truly breathes independent cinema,” and it’s very tough to disagree with that. This is a picture that deserves to be seen, and you can own a copy this coming Tuesday when the film releases to Blu-ray and DVD. You can also rest assured it’s the best picture being released come Tuesday. In addition, the soundtrack is being released on vinyl, and both the film and the music are worth your hard-earned money.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is independent cinema at its finest, and deserves your attention. You can be one of the cool kids when it gets talked about come Awards season.
Photos from last nights reception can be viewed below.