Filmmaker Benh Zeitlin and his colleagues approach filmmaking like it's a community art project. Their successful indie film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, is a lesson in how their methods could yield the adoration of the mainstream film industry. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Palm d’Or at Cannes. Now many see it as a likely Oscar winner.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Kim Masters and John Horn, film writer for the Los Angeles Times, banter about some of this week's top Hollywood news stories.
- Election Night TV viewing: ratings, Diane Sawyer, Karl Rove and Twitter
- Now that President Obama was re-elected, how will he go forward in terms of the fight between Hollywood and Silicon Valley over piracy? He'd angered some in Hollwood with how he handled the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Both industries donated generously to his re-election campaign. How will he handle efforts to balance internet freedom with protecting intellectual property?
Benh Zeitlin doesn't have an MBA. In fact, he doesn't even know what one is. He's an artist -- a writer, director, composer-- who spent his early 20's looking for a way to live cheaply so that he could make his art. He made short films with groups of friends, family and non-professionals in the manner people approach making a community art project. The term for their unconventional filmmaking method is Court 13. And they achieved some success on the festival circuit with their 2008 short film Glory at Sea. That got the attention of the financier Cinereach and the Sundance Labs. And it was those two entities that empowered them to make their first feature. Beasts of the Southern Wild, with its winning performances by two people who'd never acted before -- Quvenzhane Wallis (a six-year-old girl) and Dwight Henry (a local baker), has become a favorite movie of 2012. Now Zeitlin and the rest are on Hollywood's radar but he's sure they won't get corrupted by the business.
Benh Zeitlin with Quvenzhane Wallis
More From The Business
Director Luca Guadagnino on 'Call Me by Your Name' For the new movie Call Me By Your Name, Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino started as a consultant but ended up as the director. He tells us about the decade-long journey making the film and how he convinced Armie Hammer to take the part of Oliver, a closeted graduate student who finds a passionate romance one summer in 1980s Italy.
Pamela Adlon on 'Better Things' and collaborator Louis C.K. Better Things co-creator Pamela Adlon tells us about learning to stop second guessing herself and embracing many roles -- writer, director, producer and actor. And yes, we ask her about Louis C.K. We spoke to Adlon just days before the New York Times published a story alleging that C.K., her long-time collaborator, had a history of sexual misconduct.
Director Ruben Östlund on his Swedish satire 'The Square' Hollywood chased after Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund following his well-received 2014 film Force Majeure. But Östlund isn't so sure he wants to be caught. He tells KCRW's Matt Holzman about staying in Scandinavia and his new movie The Square, a satirical dramedy that is his second film selected as Sweden's foreign language submission to the Oscars.
Krista Vernoff and Janis Hirsch on sexual harassment in Hollywood Two women who have carved out great careers in Hollywood share their stories of sexual harassment. Comedy writer Janis Hirsch and Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff talk about what they've had to put up with and their hope that the culture will finally change.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Cartoonist Roz Chast on Manhattan: ‘I feel more alive when I’m there’ Part of the pleasure of reading Roz Chast’s cartoons in the New Yorker is realizing your life isn’t so miserable after all. Her characters live in a world filled with… Read More
Handlebar’s Sandra Adu Zelli on the 5 best ingredients for a kickass winter salad People in Santa Barbara aren’t used to standing in line. The one exception may be Handlebar Coffee Roasters, where it’s common to see cyclists and hipsters waiting out the door.… Read More