BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

10 Best Pieces of Unsolicited Fatherly Advice from Movie Dads

10 Best Pieces of Unsolicited Fatherly Advice from Movie Dads

Dad. He taught you how to catch a baseball, make pancakes and pull weeds. But it’s his useless two cents’ worth, ahem, sage advice that’s priceless. And although he covered many bases, there are a few things he missed—that’s where the big screen comes in.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Every year there’s one. A surprise, sometimes a long-shot, but a performance that’s so undeniably stunning it just can’t be ignored by audiences (or the Academy). And in this year’s Oscar nominations — announced today — that surprise was Sundance Film Festival favorite BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’s QuvenzhanĂ© Wallis, who at 9 years old is the youngest Best Actress hopeful ever. (For the past decade, WHALE RIDER’s Keisha Castle-Hughes has owned that distinction, but she was a whopping 13 years old when nominated.)

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Every year there’s one. A surprise, sometimes a long-shot, but a performance that’s so undeniably stunning it just can’t be ignored by audiences (or the Academy). And in this year’s Oscar nominations — announced today — that surprise was Sundance Film Festival favorite BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’s QuvenzhanĂ© Wallis, who at 9 years old is the youngest Best Actress hopeful ever. (For the past decade, WHALE RIDER’s Keisha Castle-Hughes has owned that distinction, but she was a whopping 13 years old when nominated.)

Top 10 ways film has destroyed the world

Top 10 ways film has destroyed the world

After all the (well-deserved) awards and praise, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is still a film about the end of the world. Hushpuppy is racing to find a way to save her father and the Bathtub from the impending Aurochs, floods and events that could destroy everything she knows. That’s one way to look at it — but we’ve recently been treating all the possible global catastrophes with an air of “meh.” So here are a few ways to better appreciate the end of days on film, especially if you think killer robots and giant planets are blasĂ©.

Top 10 film rebels fighting for independents

Top 10 film rebels fighting for independents

Making movies costs lots and lots of money. Dependency is the name of the game in the studio system and the clichĂ© of the executive producer coming to set and scaring everybody straight is surely based on actual events. ‘Indies’ used to be the alternative to that system, but that movement is now so big, such an institution in its own right, that ‘Independent’ may no longer be the most accurate nomenclature. ‘Indie’ is one of the haziest terms in the film industry; in the era of Steven Soderbergh’s watershed indie hit SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, things were more cut and dry, you were either in or outside of the studio system.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD's Sundance journey

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD's Sundance journey

It’s no secret we’re stoked about this week’s release of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. It was the breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and, just between you and me, everybody was crying their eyes out at the screening I went to (and it was all critics, media and film industry folks — not the softest bunch). So, to get you ready to see the movie talking about lately, we’ve rounded up what we’ve got on the festival fave.

Review Revue: BEASTS are pure MAGIC

Review Revue: BEASTS are pure MAGIC

Going to the movies should never, ever be stressful (unless, of course, you’re planning on seeing the latest Lars von Trier flick). You want to see something new and relevant so that you can talk it up with your know-it-all friends. But you don’t want to sit through the one film that everyone thought would be great, but…isn’t. So here is our formula, simplifying the should-you-see-it conundrum:
5 new releases x 2 critical samplings = what you should go see.

Simple enough, right? This week we have stormy little girl hero, a vulgar talking stuffed animal, mystery siblings, flirty Torontonians and some hot male strippers.

BEASTS director Benh Zeitlin & George Gund honored at 'Celebrate Sundance Institute'

BEASTS director Benh Zeitlin & George Gund honored at 'Celebrate Sundance Institute'

Filmmaker Benh Zeitlin (BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD) and philanthropist George Gund will be the first-ever recipients of the Sundance Institute Vanguard Awards, presented by Tiffany & Co. The awards will be given at the second annual ‘Celebrate Sundance Institute’ benefit, June 6 in Los Angeles.

Top 10 festival films you need to see ASAP

Top 10 festival films you need to see ASAP

Memorial Day is less than a month away and summer movie season is just around the corner. But if super-heroes ain’t your cup of cinematic tea, don’t fret: there are some excellent independent films coming out in the weeks and months ahead, and no one wears tights in any of them. In honor of the Tribeca Film Festival, which is rolling through New York City this week, here’s a list of some of 2012 festival favorites — from Tribeca, Sundance, South by Southwest, New Directors / New Films, and Cannes — hitting art house screens in the near future. With movies like these to keep you busy, it’ll be Labor Day (and Oscar Season) before you know it.

Film Intelligence: Pick on someone your own size

Film Intelligence: Pick on someone your own size

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week, we’ve got Oscar snubs, Oscar branding and some Johnny Depp/Edgar Wright gossip.

Release the BEASTS (OF THE SOUTHERN WILD)

Release the BEASTS (OF THE SOUTHERN WILD)

Sundance Film Festival favorite, and Grand Jury Prize winner, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD has a release date and we couldn’t be more excited. Now all of the folks we’ve been raving about the film to will be able to see it and figure out what we’ve been talking about. Because when I tell people I saw this amazing, post-apocalyptic fairytale about a brave young girl, melting polar ice, prehistoric warthogs and Hurricane Katrina, they generally look at me as though I’m crazy.

The Best of Sundance 2012

The Best of Sundance 2012

Now that the 2012 Sundance Film Festival is just a snowy, hectic memory, it’s time to bestow our own awards on the films we can’t get out of our heads….

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD: Director and star dish on the making of the best movie at Sundance

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD: Director and star dish on the making of the best movie at Sundance

Benh Zeitlin, the 29-year-old director of the most talked-about movie—and now, winner of the coveted Grand Jury Prize—at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, is running late. So QuvenzhanĂ© “Nazie” Wallis, star of Zeitlin’s film, does what any other 8-year-old girl would do to pass the time—eats a couple oranges, guzzles a can of Sprite, extols the virtues of ‘Wizards of Waverly Place,’ and parks herself in front of my laptop computer for a rousing game of ‘Ninja Painter.’ It’s a far cry from the crawfish, vodka, and cardboard box-cave painting of her character, Hushpuppy.

The Sundance '12 Awards (according to Twitter)

The Sundance '12 Awards (according to Twitter)

It’s indie film, man: when things go wrong, you roll with the punches and improvise. So when Parker Posey, the scheduled host for the Sundance ’12 Awards Show fell ill, the fest found a replacement — BLACK ROCK director and star Katie Aselton — who teamed up with Festival Director John Cooper to emcee the evening. Things chugged along without missing a beat. “I’ve always wanted to be Parker Posey,” quipped Aselton.

Sundance '12 acquisitions round-up #2: THE SURROGATE, CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER, and more

Sundance '12 acquisitions round-up #2: THE SURROGATE, CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER, and more

The market at Sundance ’12 was predicted to be “wild,” but started out “cautiously.” Now it looks to be heating up. After just a handful of acquisitions in the first few days of the festival, we’ve gotten a handful of acquisitions in the last few hours. Here’s a few more films that should be coming soon to an arthouse theater near you.

The Sundance Review Revue: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

The Sundance Review Revue: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

On my computer at home, I keep a running list of every movie I watch (in a related story: I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 18. Can you believe it?). Beneath that list, I keep a second running list of all the movies I need to watch. When I can’t make it to a festival like Sundance, I look at reviews and tweets and take note of the stuff that I need to keep on my radar. This morning I added the first Sundance ’12 movie to that second running list: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD.

Beasts and Saints: environmental drama at Sundance 2012

Beasts and Saints: environmental drama at Sundance 2012

Environmentally-themed drama generally takes one of two directions: the apocalyptic horror (think THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW) or the docu-drama (i.e. ERIN BROCKOVICH). In other words, if environmental issues are going to play a role in a fictional film, they’ve got to play a big, central role. Two films in competition this year at the Sundance Film Festival play with that dramatic tradition, and incorporate “the environment” into the story in either genre-bending, or even mind-bending, ways.