Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wild

I recently went to the theater with a group of friends to see Beasts of the Southern Wild, knowing nothing about the film, and found myself thinking, where in the world did this movie come from?  Amazing.  Haunting, thrilling, surprising, compassionate.

The production quality and artistry of the film are high, even though the budget was low, which shows how deeply everyone cared, especially the 29-year-old director. The cinematography is gorgeous, shot on 18 mm film with lovely color, tones, and graininess.

The film centers on a father and daughter who live off the grid on a small Louisiana island.  The little girl who plays the heroine is a pure natural - she gave an amazing performance.  The story could be criticized for romanticizing poverty, sustenance living, and even alcoholism, but I see the film as acknowledging the beauty unique to a certain lifestyle and the dignity of the people who live it.  Plus, I am a bit of a romantic myself when it comes to art, so I give a lot of leeway to a story told with beauty and passion.  If you can find this film at a theater near you, I highly recommend watching it on the big screen.