Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin, “Once There Was a Hushpuppy”
Beasts of the Southern Wild is the most beautiful little piece of cinematic poetry I’ve seen in years. Everyone should go see this movie. Everyone.
Never has a movie touched so many chords, so deeply, all at once. M., Jane, and I went to see it on a whim last night — I actually had coketalk’s trntbl on, as I often do when working out, and this song came on and that was it, we were booking tickets to the 9:45 showing.
From the first moment, I felt utterly open to the screen. So many emotions passed through me I could never catalog them, though I have been thinking of little else since the lights went up.
It resonated with many memories I have — sleeping next to my daddy when I was little and listening, with some measure of awe and fear, to his heartbeat (fear because I knew it could stop); working and living in the 9th Ward after the storm; talking to a heart-shaped crack on the ceiling of my grammar school because it represented my birth-mom.
I said as much as we were leaving the movie theater — having watched the credits to the very end, so rapt were we with the experience, and perhaps amazed that humans created this fantasy; it was not handed down from on high — and M. replied that that is what true mythology does. You recognize yourself in it. It feels as though it has always been there.
Benh Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar, and the monumental Quvenzhané Wallis (the actor who plays young Hushpuppy) have created a new myth, a timeless myth for our times — one of the rarest achievements in all of art. It is, as coketalk says, for everyone.