Benh Zeitlin is an interesting guy – and not because ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild‘ is an Oscar nominated film. His form of film directing lies within the collective framework of filmmaking, as a company of people called Court 13, where all contributors have creative input into the final film. Zeitlin really knows what kind of amazing overall filmmaking can happen when you work outside of the conventional system.
a collective of madcap artists and animators of junk that seek to tell huge stories out of small parts…
‘Beasts’ is a “small” epic in the best sense of the word; it occupies the small world of a child, and what is epic in her experience and perception. Hushpuppy, played by Quvenzhané Wallis, struggles to deal with the impending loss of her father Wink, played by Dwight Henry, as well as her home in the “bathtub” swamps of Southern Louisiana. It is also a very interesting movie about community – Hushpuppy may live in many ways like a lone pup, but she does live in a strong stubborn community of supportive people who also have no desire to leave their home.
Court 13 describe themselves as “a grassroots, independent filmmaking army – a collective of madcap artists and animators of junk that seek to tell huge stories out of small parts.”
I think that’s wonderful. I also think it’s what a lot of us are doing; what many artists, to a degree, have always done.
So to Hollywood and Oscar this may be a revelation, but for many of us already hitting the heavy bag, it’s business as usual. As it’s also business as usual to the folks of Court 13.
But seeking to tell huge stories out of a small parts is always going to be wonderful and inspiring to me. I hope it is to you too.