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Sundance 2012 Black Cinema Discoveries #1 – “Beasts Of The Southern Wild”

Sundance 2012 Black Cinema Discoveries #1 - "Beasts Of The Southern Wild"

As promised… Sundance 2012 highlights that we haven’t at all covered previously on Shadow And Act (if you haven’t seen the full “in competition” selection list, unveiled minutes ago, click HERE to read that post in which you’ll find titles we’ve written about quite a bit like Ava DuVernay’s Middle Of Nowhere, Sam Pollard’s documentary Slavey By Another Name, and Sheldon Candis’ LUV in the mix).

First up on the list of films that got in that we haven’t written about, a “Southern Apocalpytic Kids Adventure Comedy,” as it’s described titled Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin, from a screenplay co-written by Lucy Alibar, based on her original play titled Juicy And Delicious (I love both titles).

Its synopsis reads:

Waters gonna rise up, wild animals gonna rerun from the grave, and everything south of the levee is goin’ under, in this tale of a six year old named Hushpuppy, who lives with her daddy at the edge of the world.

That’s it!

But here’s a longer description of the play it’s based on:

Sharing a single company of actors, raw stagecraft, and a gleefully black-tinged absurdism… [the play is a fairytale] about coming of age and growing out of place in surreal locales: … the rural South. In Juicy and Delicious, we are transported to a rural South besieged by prehistoric aurochs, things fall from the sky, extinct prehistoric beasts come back to life and eat the neighbors’ livestock, and ghosts live alongside the living. Here, nobody knows how to use words to express themselves, and punches and kisses come all at once. Love, violence, tenderness, loss, and the ‘end of the known world, when we graduate’ are woven together ecstatically.

Sounds like this should be visually arresting; I should add that the director, Zeitlin also has a background in animation, so we might see some of that in this – a combo liveaction and animation.

The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (in the photo above – a name I couldn’t find a single thing on, meaning she might be a relative newcomer, although I suspect we’ll be hearing her name a lot more from here on) and Dwight Henry (also a name that’s unfamiliar to me, and could find nothing on). 

Beasts of the Southern Wild was a 2009 June Screenwriters and Directors Lab participant, as well as a 2010 Sundance / NHK International Filmmakers Award winner. 

It’s further described as a combo drama/fantasy/adventure.

Couldn’t find much media on it though; no clips, very few photos, no trailer. I found a link to a Facebook page for it, but when clicked on, said the account no longer existed. I expect all that’ll change in the next month or two.

Consider me definitely curious about this one…

More highlights to come.

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