Posts Tagged 'Benh Zeitlin'

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Opens Today in New York and Los Angeles to Rave Reviews!

Maryland Film Festival and WYPR 88.1FM have teamed up to bring a new Spotlight Series of highly-anticipated, critically-acclaimed independent films to Baltimore, followed by a radio interview of the filmmaker(s) with WYPR’s Tom Hall.  These 10-minute radio interviews follow the film screening and are recorded in front of the live audience, to be played on 88.1FM’s Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast radio show.

The first film in our Spotlight Series was Benh Zeitlin‘s epic BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which was screened on June 5th at MICA with special guest screenwriter Lucy Alibar.  This was an exclusive Friends of the Festival sneak preview.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD opens in theaters today in New York and Los Angeles, and opens at the Charles Theater on Friday, July 13th, the day that Tom’s interview with Lucy Alibar airs on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast.

Check out this excerpt of a review of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD in today’s Los Angeles Times:

Director Benh Zeitlin and his co-writer Lucy Alibar, a playwright whose “Juicy and Delicious” was the inspiration, have created characters that are wondrously indelible, distinctive of voice and set them inside a story that will unleash a devastating hurricane, and a flood of emotions, before it is done.

This is a remarkably skilled first feature for the filmmakers and its fusion of fable and soulful reality has been widely embraced on the festival circuit starting with Sundance in January, where it won the top prize. Last month it added the prestigious Camera d’Or at Cannes, marking it essentially the best of the best, and no doubt more notice will deservedly follow.

-Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

Click here for the complete Los Angeles Times review!

Also, check out this excerpt of a review of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD in today’s The New York Times:

This movie is a blast of sheer, improbable joy, a boisterous, thrilling action movie with a protagonist who can hold her own alongside Katniss Everdeen, Princess Merida and the other brave young heroines of 2012.

– AO Scott, The New York Times

Click here for the complete The New York Times review!

Stay tuned for more films to be announced in the MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series, coming soon!

Sundance Update: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD a A Mythic Masterpiece

We had all admired Benh Zeitlin’s short, GLORY AT SEA, sent to us a couple years ago by filmmaker, journalist, and MFF alum Michael Tully.

But, even that couldn’t prepare me for Benh’s first feature, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, premiering here. It came out of the Sundance Labs and was written by Dudley Clendenin’s niece, Lucy Alibar (Dudley has ALS and has been doing that remarkable WYPR series with Tom Hall. I didn’t know about his connection to Lucy and the film until I got emails from him here after I’d seen the film).

Mythic and visually indescribable, the movie deals with the profoundest issues of family and our dangerous disconnect from nature. Anchored by an amazing performance by non actor Quvenzhane Wallis, who is 8 or 9, it is too audacious to be an easy sell. I pray we can show to you in May.  It is why Sundance was invented.

–Jed Dietz

Image from Benh Zeitlin's 2012 Sundance film, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD