In the grand scheme of film criticism and the notion that groundbreaking directors can be born right out of their first feature, Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild is a perfect blend of emotional rapture and glorious narrative. The film tells the story of young Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), a girl living among her father (Dwight Henry) and neighbors following a natural disaster that may or may not be Hurricane Katrina. Hushpuppy faces the deteriorating environment that threatens her very existence and everyone she loves.
Zeitlin’s direction is controlled and spot-on as he operates the film with a heavy hand of love. His interpretation of a world that belongs to an eight-year-old girl is accurately and effectively moving. Zeitlin casts a spell and digs his way into your soul with his creation of some of the most beautiful characters of the year. The film, reminiscent of an older, more mature version of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, encapsulates many of the qualities that makes films really extraordinary. Zeitlin’s vision is paramount and while he allows the imagery to become a secondary character, a tactic many director can only dream of, his artistic abilities haven’t even been fully realized…yet. Read more on Beasts of the Southern Wild (***½)…
We have spent the past three weeks talking about the past films, the characters, the history of Batman on film and the superstars attached to the series. But as I am prone to on The Awards Circuit, I’d like to take the time to highlight the collaborative work of those craftsmen who thanklessly work on the pieces of a film’s success we take for granted.
Rather than laboriously spell out the overall effect of the crew behind the Bat, I’d rather take the very best individual achievements of cinematographers, production designers, wardrobe, and musical composers that have given their all to make each Batman film their most indelible qualities. We’ve often discussed the influence of the various directors attached to the Caped Crusader over the years, but it’s about time we paid tribute to the members of their team that bring their visions to life. Introducing the top ten below-the-line contributors to Batman on film: Read more on Batman Below-the-Line…
, Batman & Robin
, Batman Begins
, Batman Forever
, Batman Returns
, danny elfman
, Hans Zimmer
, Rick Baker
, The Dark Knight
, the dark knight rises
, Wally Pfister
With Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret finally hitting Blu-Ray/DVD shelves today, the wonderful PR team has unveiled a cool link that connects all the great actors attached to the film.
This 8 Degrees of Margaret chart reflects the many connections among the characters in the movie and the overlapping film projects they have worked on, and is a fun brain teaser for any film buff. Also, hover your mouse over the chart to see star pop-ups highlighting extra facts about those starring in Margaret.
Take a look after the jump and make sure to purchase Margaret today! You can click on our DVD store on the sidebar and order it directly.
Read more on 8 Degrees of Margaret connects its actors…
War was raging in Europe and though Canada was involved in 1939, the United States did not become involved until Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a day that American President Roosevelt, said would “live in infamy.” Drawn into the war the Americans made the difference, and just four bloody years later both Germany and Japan surrender, Japan the victims of the first atomic bombs which halted the war within hours of being dropped, decimating the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Life changed in the States after the war, and cinema grew up, becoming much more serious than it had been before. Influenced by the realistic work emerging from Italy, American filmmakers began exploring life on film, and the actors responded with deeper, sometimes darker performances. One cannot under-estimate the staggering impact of the war on society, or its artists, and there was something much darker about the work that came to the screen after 1945. Read more on Best of the Decades: 1940s…
With The Dark Knight Rises right around the corner, the excitement for the film has almost reached a fever pitch. If you are looking for something to get you even more pumped, the good folks at Empire Online have got their hands on the entire score to the latest Batman film and are streaming it in its entirety. Hans Zimmer’s score is naturally dark and brooding, and if you listen closely you can hear the call backs to the previous Batman themes. Check out the player after the jump for the full score!
Read more on Listen to the entire Hans Zimmer’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ score now!…
This week we have one of the better Blu-Ray/DVD release slates in a while, anchored by a modern classic at the top. There are only 5 releases today to talk about, but I’m actually going to be recommending 4 of them (with the 5th excluded solely because I haven’t seen it), so take note of that. The top pick this week should be of special note to a lot of you, but the rest of the flicks are hardly slouches. For my PICK OF THE WEEK this time around, I didn’t have a particularly hard choice, since it’s a film I’ve been championing since I saw it in the fall of last year. The movie has a behind the scenes story almost as fascinating as the film itself, but only focusing on that is a disservice. Many of you know the film I’m referring to, but for those who are drawing a blank, let me enlighten you. It’s: Read more on Joey’s DVD Picks of the Week (7/10/2012)…