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Beasts Of The Summer Wild

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Beasts Of The Summer Wild - 25/9/2012 4:16:41 PM   
Empire Admin


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RE: Empire Fix the Title! - 26/9/2012 10:12:54 PM   


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Joined: 10/5/2011
Very much looking forward to this [especially after seeing Anna Karenina tonight...oh dear...]....
Post #: 2
Southern, not Summer! - 15/10/2012 11:32:13 AM   


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Joined: 10/6/2009
You really ought to fix the title! You are better than this Empire ;-)

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Strong Contender for Best Picture, Best Director, Best ... - 16/10/2012 8:57:30 AM   


Posts: 13
Joined: 12/7/2012
From: South Africa
From the trailer I was bit worried this was going to be yet another American Indie mumble-core piece.
but Beasts of the Southern Wild is something else entirely. Reminds me of The Band - Music from the Big Pink - its on another level, there's magic realism, bits of Mallick's "Days of Heaven", post apocalyptic fantasy and everything what Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things are" should have been. Brilliant

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RE: Strong Contender for Best Picture, Best Director, B... - 22/10/2012 11:38:42 PM   
Qwerty Norris

Posts: 4011
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Just seen this tonight. Still processing it a bit, but I loved it.

Favourite film of the year so far? Quite possibly....


Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

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Post #: 5
Bespoke dreams and blurred reality: Beasts that go raaa... - 26/10/2012 11:18:19 PM   


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Joined: 19/7/2008
From: UK
Incredible film of honest dream sequencing. Totally just blogged about it-

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Post #: 6
RE: Beasts Of The Summer Wild - 27/10/2012 1:45:22 PM   


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Joined: 23/6/2006
There is nothing more powerful than a child’s imagination and when done properly in a cinematic way, it becomes a masterstroke of storytelling, as previously shown in Guillermo del Toro’s dark fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth and Spike Jonze’s more child-friendly Where the Wild Things Are. Taking its cue from Lucy Alibar’s one-act play Juicy and Delicious, Benh Zeitlin’s directorial debut is an arthouse drama that is both ecological and magical.

Set in a bayou community on an island surrounded by rising water which its residents refer to as the “Bathtub”, six-year old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) lives with her hot-tempered father, Wink (Dwight Henry). As the rundown area is flooded by a mighty storm, Hushpuppy sets off on a mission to reclaim their fund.

From its pre-title sequence showing the poster shot of Hushpuppy running in the night with a pair of lit roman candles, we see a gritty and muddy world through the eyes of a little girl, who lets her imagination run wild to escape from the harshness of the reality. Although Hushpuppy is in nearly every frame as she goes off on a perilous journey on her own, from start to finish the story centralises on the relationship between her and Wink, who is practically destroying himself.

Prior to this film, the two leads were never actors and yet with this, they bring out extraordinary performances and are the heart of the piece. Dwight Henry is mostly seen a scary presence as he has a violent behaviour towards her daughter and at times wanting to pick a fight with her. However, given the environment they are both living in and after the flood, he is preparing her for what is to come as a grown-up, while his self-destruction could be an early end for him. As for the young newcomer, Quvenzhané Wallis is a revelation that, despite her age, isn’t afraid and tries to face forces that are beyond her, but when it comes to the tragic climax, hopefully tears will fall.

For his directorial debut, Benh Zeitlin is telling an ecological tale about survival through a post-Katrina environment, whilst presenting a level of magical realism. Despite its low budget, there is great spectacle as there is a recurring nightmare of Hushpuppy’s of giant warthogs escapes from the ice and travels across the globe on a pursuit to her. As most fantasy films require large amounts of CGI to create imaginative imagery, Zeitlin subtly shows Hushpuppy’s thoughts about her missing mother, as is she is this non-facial presence with something spiritual happen to the home.

Subtle but imaginative, dark but beautiful, Beasts of the Southern Wild has been much loved festivals, and hopefully will find its place with the mainstream.

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RE: Beasts Of The Summer Wild - 1/11/2012 12:36:00 PM   

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From: Not Local
And there it is. That one film which justifies it all. That one film which reassures you that cinema isn’t lost to the bloated mess of Battleships and Bayhem. Thank you Benh Zeitling for creating a film of genuine passion and energy. A film so full of life that in the first 15 minutes you start to wonder if your petty grievances with your own day-to-day goings-on will ever bother you again.

Beasts of the Southern Wild arrives after its Cannes/Sundance glory and demonstrates immediately just what all the fuss is about. It concerns the story of 6 year old Hushpuppy, a girl living with her father Wink in a southern island community called The Bathtub. Their existence of foraging to survive and dislocation from the the modern world is startling yet believable and the film centres of the impact of a Katrina-esque disaster on their relatively feral existence.

From the first frame the film is alive with images and scenes dealing with the two of the major themes of the film: Survival and Bravery. But crucially no matter how barren the lives of Hushpuppy and Wink seem, we never feel pity or sorrow. The earthiness and flat-out good will of these people make damn sure of that. The euphoric scenes of their bayou carnival are so primally familiar, you are instantly part of the community and prepared to follow it to whatever end.

At the centre of the film is a performance so stunning you will forego the cynicism at recent too-young-for-an-Oscar headlines and request an Academy voting slip on leaving the cinema. Quvenzhané Wallis plays our 6 year heroine Hushpuppy with the most unbelievable sense of gravitas (if Morgan Freeman ever sees this I bet he’ll be claming some kind of copyright breach). Her amazingly instinctive performance anchors the film perfectly and fills the audience with all the childlike wonder and, in turn, foreboding dread that comes with being new to this hugely intimidating world.

Her father Wink is played with equal parts desperation and conviction by the outstanding Dwight Henry. Their relationship hinges on his efforts to provide Hushpuppy with the tools she needs to survive with or without him and his determination to impart this knowledge leads to some wonderful scenes of tenderness, humour and drama.

Life is the key word here. It oozes from every frame both photographically and figuratively. An urgency of life which thrills and uplifts. Not often does a film come along which awakens so many sense and pushes so many emotional buttons. It’s incredible that a story set in such a barren and hopeless world can be so invigorating and life-affirming. And in a culture where true heart, true bravery and true spirit is so often cheapened and packaged beyond meaning, Beasts of the Southern Wild provides a pure and beautiful blast of storytelling which is sorely needed.


"They offered me a hundred grand. You wanna know something? When I found out I'd get my hands on you, I said I'd do it for nothing."

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Post #: 8
RE: Beasts Of The Summer Wild - 1/12/2012 1:08:42 AM   

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Joined: 13/10/2008
Wow. That was something genuinely really, really special. So powerful, so emotional, so sad and uplifting. The movie of the year. This is why I love cinema.

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Post #: 9
RE: Beasts Of The Summer Wild - 3/12/2012 2:40:38 AM   


Posts: 16
Joined: 3/12/2012
From: Ireland
Sorry for this but I have a different opinion...

I am fairly deaf so missed a lot of the dialog at first. Mainly visuals. Pardon me but I immediately globalized the delta scene. Nigeria? Bangladesh? Indonesia? Surinam? everywhere tribes of people form and gather and live on the utter fringes of the petroleum planet - using scraps and refuse for homes and tools. I disassociated this from any regular old Delta/Cajun style film. I suppose most think of Hurricane Katrina - I think climate change, population dislocation, catastrophic sea level rise, class warfare.

Another film comes to mind - Water World and then crossed with Mad Max.


I love the cinema!

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Post #: 10
RE: Beasts Of The Summer Wild - 8/12/2012 1:38:41 AM   

Posts: 236
Joined: 23/8/2009
Watched this the other day. A truly special film, and not like anything I have seen in quite some time. Such a powerful and emotional film, and only just misses out on my favourite film of the year.


This Is The End - ***
Man Of Steel - ***
The Great Gatsby - ***
Iron Man 3 - ***
Evil Dead - ***

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Post #: 11
- 30/12/2012 9:18:11 PM   

Posts: 5397
Joined: 21/10/2005
From: Sin City
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Right at the end of the year I`ve seen one of the year`s best.
Seen from the point of view of Hushpuppy, a little girl who lives with her father in the muddy area`s of southern Louisiana, first time director Benh Zeitlin gives a look into the lives of her and her father. Lives in wich taking care of yourself without any outside help plays a big role and in wich there is no place for pity.
It is a film in wich existential questions are asked, wich does make you look at the world and the way we live in it and with each other at a different way.

An intoxicatingly beautiful film where Quvenzhané Wallis gives a memorable performance as the little Hushpuppy, one that really justifies multiple viewings. Only then you`ll reall "get" all of it and you`ll be able to take in all of its beauty.


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Post #: 12
- 2/1/2013 8:26:09 PM   


Posts: 68
Joined: 18/10/2008
From: Oxford
Everything about this film down to the story, the acting, the direction and the cinematography is stunning.
Almost perfect

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Post #: 13
Lost in the Wild - 15/1/2013 4:53:03 PM   
Dillon the Villain


Posts: 6
Joined: 14/1/2009
How a film with no plot, characters who do nothing and with whom it is impossible to empathise, in a style which veers from irritatingly incomprehensible garbage to pretentious self-indulgent triteness can earn itself 5 stars is beyond me. This rates below Shame, which is saying something - at least that looked good at times, this was just a mess.

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Post #: 14
Utter Tosh - 15/2/2013 5:06:30 PM   
david hayes


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Joined: 16/5/2010
unlikable characters

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Post #: 15
- 23/2/2013 9:27:48 PM   


Posts: 66
Joined: 25/11/2005
Beautiful film, great acting, super story.

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Post #: 16
- 3/3/2013 5:05:36 PM   


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Joined: 3/3/2013
Truly spectacular and one of the most progressive magic realist films I've seen in a while. Which takes me onto the question - Who would win in a feminist fist-fight: Hushpuppy or Miss Moneypenny? Answers at

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Post #: 17
Opinion - 5/3/2013 9:30:27 AM   


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Joined: 3/11/2005
I'm guilty of this as I'm sure most people on the plant are. Getting annoyed with other peoples reviews and opinions. So all the lovers of this film please dont scream, but I thought this film was very average. It seems to me that if you come up with an original idea and make it look good, you have instantly made a classic. This film was beautiful and the acting was good, but Oscar best picture good? Not for me. I found the first hour quite boring. It did get better towards the end but I just thought this was very average and certainly not a classic. I seem to be in the minority so maybe I just didnt get it, but for me, only good.

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Post #: 18
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