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Sundance 2012 - Settling Into Day 2 + "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" Has Distribution Companies Roaring!

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 21, 2012 11:06 AM
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So this is Day 2 at the Sundance Film Festival for me; I had a rough day arriving yesterday, thanks to Delta Airlines, but I made it. I managed to get 2 film screenings in (I reviewed 1 earlier today 4 posts beneath this one). 

I'm trying to suppress a cold bug that just snuck up on me the night before I left for Park City, UT for the festival, so I can't say I'm comfortable and fully settled in yet; alas, there's work to be done, and I'm your man! 

I've got a full slate today, with 4 screenings in immediate succession, so send some virus healing energy my way, so that I feel better (not worse) as the day progresses.

The 4 films I'll be seeing today are The Words (Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana thriller), Beasts Of The Southern Wild (I'll get to that in a minute), The Raid (the much-talked about Indonesian martial arts action movie) and a documentary called Detropia (a said to be painterly work on a city - Detroit - on the brink of dissolution).

And after all that, as long as I'm not killing over, I've got a party to attend :)

But back to Beasts Of The Southern Wild (photo still above)...

It premiered at the festival yesterday and, from what I've heard and read, it's THE film to beat at this year's event. It got a standing ovation at the end, as did the filmmaker when he was introduced afterward, and I haven't spoken to anyone who's seen it, or read any early reviews of it that didn't praise it.

And I woke up this morning to find THIS piece on The Hollywood Reporter's website titled Sundance 2012: 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Has Buyers Roaring.

Need I say more? That's certainly not a headline you'd read often with films centered on stories about people of African descent, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it at noon today; and of course my review will follow sometime after.

According to THR, several buyers, including Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus and The Weinstein Co., have been circling the film, so it looks like a pickup maybe a guarantee for the film, with an announcement coming sooner than later.

We'll see... I also hear it's not what you'd call mainstream material, so there's always that challenge/hindrance.

I'll have a better idea once I see it later today.

Till then... 

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  • filmmaker | January 21, 2012 2:29 PMReply

    Genuinely exciting news. I'm incredibly happy for any indie filmmaker who gets flight, recognition &support for their team's labor+love. But (yes, I have to do it) as soon as, I learned the director's a white dude I immediately wondered, "If ANDREW DOSUNMU made this exact film, would he receive the same level of industry attention?". This wonder isn't bad, good, or even just is.

  • ANOTHER FILMMAKER | January 23, 2012 9:45 PM

    I know exactly what you mean and perhaps you may be right 80% of the time. But I happen to know both filmmakers (not going to see which one I know better) and their work, I've seen Beasts of the Southern Wild and it's really something else. I admire Dosunmu's work, but comparing them is very different. This is very much a crowd-pleasing film that Sundance hasn't experienced before.

    Please see it before make any further judgements.

    Also, Andrew will get his due soon-- the same way Steve McQueen or Dee Rees have with their striking first films.

  • openeyes | January 22, 2012 9:51 AM

    Sorry--meant to post this here...:
    actually it is an amazingly joyous movie about people whom to us may have much but they have got each other and their world, and are fiercely loyal to and proud of each other and their place on this earth.

  • Mecca | January 21, 2012 8:22 PM

    I understand what you mean. When whites direct stories w/ Black characters they get praised good or bad. Why is it called "Beasts of the Southern Wild"?

    Looking at the pic above I just know this is going to be some hard knock life kinda movie.

  • Paul | January 21, 2012 12:56 PMReply

    The Raid was AWESOME! The action was so incredible and the music was so cool.

  • openeyes | January 22, 2012 9:47 AM

    actually it is an amazingly joyous movie about people whom to us may have much but they have got each other and their world, and are fiercely loyal to and proud of each other and their place on this earth.

  • Cynthia | January 21, 2012 12:35 PMReply

    I think I read the cast members are not actors. Definitely curious about this one!

  • NinaG | January 21, 2012 11:22 AMReply

    Can't wait to see this!

  • Gina | January 21, 2012 11:19 AMReply

    You should take some castor oil. It cure everything. For people who aren't film journalists, do you think it makes sense to attend Sundance if you don't have a film screening there?

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