Benh Zeitlin’s Striking Feature Debut “Beasts Of The Southern Wild” Gets A Trailer!

Benh Zeitlin's Striking Feature Debut "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" Gets A Trailer!

No lengthy intro necessary at this point… one of the best films I saw at the Sundance Film Festival this year – Benh Zeitlin's feature film debut starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry

Read my review of it HERE if you missed it.

Fox Searchlight will release it for a limited bow on June 29, 2012, so many of you folks will get to see it a lot sooner than I expected – and over the summer too!

Before then, however, it'll screen at the Cannes Film Festival later this month, and then Los Angeles Film Festival in June.

Watch its very first trailer (and guess who is quoted in it? I'll give you one guess :)):

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Comments

From Tokyo

Looks like a touching movie and I want to see it based on that. As someone else stated, both races are depicted as being in poverty, and based on the story as it is presented in the trailer, the roles of the father and daughter could have easily been played by Caucasians. I hope it comes out here.

Muse

Wow, I'm glad I watched the trailer and commented BEFORE reading all the other responses. I find Marie's in-depth response interesting. She makes it sound like a fantasy version of Precious, with a much tinier protagonist. That certainly does sound side-eye inducing, but I'll check it out and see for myself.

Muse

I watched the entire trailer and still could not tell if that cute kid was male or female. I also couldn't tell what the film was about lol. Looks intriguing though. What the heck, I'll check it out.

CareyCarey

What a tangled web we weave! As Marie predicted, her comment has become the central focus of snark attacks and a portal for others to move their own personal agendas. Listen, when I re-read her comment several times, I found her 2 basic issues of concern 1.) HER WORDS: "i expect people to follow suit of the white critics who assert/demand/convince of the movie's groundbreaking status" 2.) I believe Maria was simply saying — one should beware of jumping on the bandwagon of championing a non-black filmmakers because their journey/obstacles/criticism/assessment/opportunities/vision/agenda/praise is quite different from ours – in so many ways. A) White people are more prone to ingratiate films of this nature when told from the viewpoint of white filmmakers. B) When films from the Benh Zeitlin's of the world (i.e., Kathryn Stockett, Quentin Tarantino, George Lucas,etc) are exalted to a position of superiority, it leaves less room for stories from POC [ i.e., toni morrison and octavia butler and our true masters] C.) Some black folks will unconciously follow suit. They will raise their tried and tired and lazy trump cards. In layman's terms — here they come-a-runnin' : 1. "If we as artists can't be objective in the face of beauty, are we artists at all? Or contrarian posers with agendas and gripes that distort the earnest work of others to suit our prejudices and perhaps… envy? 2. "Black folks do it too – Don't forget "Our People" have done a good job of making horrible lasting images all by their damn selves" 3. "I really don't get people who feel like black people cannot be touched when it comes to storytelling and movies. I wonder how many black films will have been made with no contribution from a non-black". 4. "left me in tears!" In short — in fairness to Maria — Again, I believe she was simply saying "BEWARE" — because there's much more than meets the eye and tug at your heart, much of which has little or nothing to do with art. Lastly, to be fair, Marie wasn't the only one who had serious concerns with the underlying/hidden messages: "White director. White writer. White producers. White cinematography, on down the line. I'm clear now. White people at white festivals saying it's the greatest thing since everything. Yes. It is starting [ The other voice] and it needs to be started" ~ Bama

Tamara

I think the reference for the quoted person went over my head. Who is it? And also, this film looks great. One thing: it reminds me of "Salvage the Bones" by Jesmyn Howard…in a sense with the impending storm and familial relationships between father and daughter and town and community, etc. The trailer is as described, visually beautiful and poetic. I would love to see this film.

"this movie being celebrated as the best of the year sits wrong with me and may sit wrong with you once you get past the manipulative points (which all movies have) and look at the core. you will see something that does not smell as sweet as they say. our depictions don't have to be rosey, but if you are showing an african-american child being abused, living in filth, being unparented by her african-american absentee father, you should have a point. and you should not be so careless as to wrap it up in the dressing of poetry and magic to make that it go down easy." – MARIE

Respectfully, I'd like to ask MARIE if she has seen David Gordon Green's "George Washington" (2000) and if so, what did she think of it in comparison to this film that depicts children in a rural setting, impoverished, fending for themselves in terms of growth and maturity without a real presence of adults, but whose tale is told through their eyes and given a magical realism-type treatment. Likewise, what do you think of "Ballast" (2008) directed by yet another "white, privileged" director? And have you read the book "Salvage the Bones" (2011, book) whose narrative flows along the same lines as the above mentioned films?

I would love a furthered discussion on these type works. I think what matters above all is the story, the tale and the truth and sincerity in depiction, be it by a white director or no. I think, also, that the race aspect is a totally different avenue to explore in terms of discourse, separate from the almost fairytale wonder of features like this. For example, look to "The Fall" (2006) directed by Tarsem Singh — that tells a story not necessarily narrated through the mind/mouth of a child but is "translated" by the imagination of a Catinca Untaru who stars opposite Lee Pace. The girl actress is Romanian and portrays a Hispanic/Chicana daughter of immigrants. Tarsem is an American individual by way of Indian birth. What role does the race make play really as long as the tale gives the truth? or "a" truth? Every viewer will receive their own interpretation. Film/Fiction is subjective. And caricatures can be found in any work of fiction. "The War" (1994) can serve as example that caricature when the coined is filmed (poor whites/po' white trash/rednecks), too.

Anyway, I find it fascinating the "world", if you will, of "magical realism"…and tales told through the viewpoints of children. There's an innocence and truth and prescience that abounds in the realm of children-led narratives. I'm asking a lot of question. Maybe this subject within the confines of this post have been beat to death and no one will respond. LOL. Oh well.

Emmanuel

Looks interesting. I'll see it.

saadiyah

I am so excited to finally see this trailer. It's very beautiful and powerful. I can't think of anything that will keep me seeing this movie!

Hope this leads to more acting opportunities for little Miss. Wallis.

the black police

Oh lawd! The blacks have done it again. I really didn't forsee this movie being problematized but leave it to the enlightened people who frequent this site to show you that it can and will be done.

Congratulations!

Anyway, it looks interesting. I wanna see it.

marie

i saw it at sundance. i attended the first screening at eccles theater with great anticipation and departed with great anger. i hope people hear me out. i am not a hater. i don't know the people involved. i could care less about them as people. i don't even post on this site in a regular fashion. please hear me out. there is a divide between what white audiences and assimilated individuals will see and what is actually being shown to us in this movie. on the surface – heartstrings are being pulled. there is no doubt that to see one of our girls pulls our heartstrings as humans. however – the archetypes, caricatures and over-archingl portrayal of black humans, particularly the father and daughter, is depicted in such a careless way by the film's makers that it angered me. for me to think that this movie is being lifted up as a masterpiece in its depictions of black culture or is breaking some ground for POC in the worlds of magical realism and fantasy is an affront to toni morrison and octavia butler and our true masters. this movie is far from anything but a young man of privilege playing with archetypes and brown skin in dangerous ways. the things this girl is made to do, wear, say is dangerous. the way her black father is made by this young non-black film-maker to behave, live, interact is pitiful. i am not speaking from a place of hate but a place of love for my people. i do not believe the young director even understands what he's playing with when he toys with this imagery. i stayed for the question and answer. i even attended a talk he did at the festival separate from the screening to make certain that i hadn't misjudged his intentions solely based on the color of his skin. the problem is – he has no intention at all. it is difficult to explain but some who eventually see it will understand and some will not. this movie being celebrated as the best of the year sits wrong with me and may sit wrong with you once you get past the manipulative points (which all movies have) and look at the core. you will see something that does not smell as sweet as they say. our depictions don't have to be rosey, but if you are showing an african-american child being abused, living in filth, being unparented by her african-american absentee father, you should have a point. and you should not be so careless as to wrap it up in the dressing of poetry and magic to make that it go down easy. not when you are playing with the skin tone and language of my daughter and my ancestors. i believe that once our better cultural thinkers get their eyes on this, the masses who are being blinded by the "magic" will see more than meets the eye. until then – i expect people to follow suit of the white critics who assert/demand/convince of the movie's groundbreaking status. i hope alternative views of the movie will open people's eyes. i think people should see the movie . but understand what you are seeing. do not let yourself be manipulated into convincing others about the excellence of a movie that a) you have not seen, or b) you don't understand or c) made you cry. do you even know why you were crying? if you can't follow your own mind, open up to varying opinions. every body will have one. this is mine. let the snarky follow-ups to this post begin. that is what this place is all about it seems. i just had to speak my mind. thank you.

ernchamp

i saw a screening of this a few weeks ago in LA on the fox lot….loved it…..this little girl is amazing and so is the man playing her dad. left me in tears!

rane

AWESOME!

Nia

Stunning trailer! I've been waiting so long to see this. I can't wait util it comes to my city.

Bama

Just so I'm clear — is this director and writer Black or not?

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