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Benh Zeitlin

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February 24, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
Benh Zeitlin, the director of "Beasts of the Southern Wild," lives in a worn-down house in Louisiana - so suffice it to say, he felt a bit out of place on the Oscars red carpet Sunday in Hollywood. "I feel like I'm in a TV show," he said, looking down at the tuxedo that had been lent to him. "I'm here in my costume. " FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2013 | Top nominees Though the 30-year-old filmmaker was up for one of the biggest prizes of the night, he seemed more excited about his leading lady's big week than his own. Sunday morning, Sony announced that "Beasts" star Quvenzhané Wallis will star in its "Annie" remake - and Zeitlin says the 9-year-old can sing.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
Benh Zeitlin, the director of "Beasts of the Southern Wild," lives in a worn-down house in Louisiana - so suffice it to say, he felt a bit out of place on the Oscars red carpet Sunday in Hollywood. "I feel like I'm in a TV show," he said, looking down at the tuxedo that had been lent to him. "I'm here in my costume. " FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2013 | Top nominees Though the 30-year-old filmmaker was up for one of the biggest prizes of the night, he seemed more excited about his leading lady's big week than his own. Sunday morning, Sony announced that "Beasts" star Quvenzhané Wallis will star in its "Annie" remake - and Zeitlin says the 9-year-old can sing.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By John Horn
One of the best things that can happen to a first-time filmmaker is attracting awards season attention. But be careful what you wish for - that kind of notice also means your filmmaking career can come to a screeching halt. Benh Zeitlin, the director and co-writer of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” has been on a worldwide publicity and awards-collection tour ever since his movie debuted in theaters in June. By his tally, he's not been in any one city for more than four days over the last five months.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2013 | Julie Makinen and Steven Zeitchik
David O. Russell's dramatic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" took home the best feature prize at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday afternoon at a raucous ceremony hosted by Andy Samberg on the beach in Santa Monica. It was a big afternoon for the Philadelphia tale about a thirtysomething man afflicted with a mood disorder. At the Spirits, Russell was named Best Director and received the prize for Best Screenplay for the film, while his star, Jennifer Lawrence, won the Best Actress statuette.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
NEW ORLEANS - Benh Zeitlin has just knocked on the door of the dilapidated home of the woman they call Mama Joe. Zeitlin, the director of this year's art-house film sensation "Beasts of the Southern Wild," waits a minute, then finds himself face-to-face with a 60-ish woman with red hair and mismatched black and purple socks. "You're back!" says Mama Joe, a self-described alcoholic and retired bar cook whose squat residence in a working-class section of this city might generously be described as hobo chic (notable décor flourish: a backyard urinal)
NEWS
December 18, 2012 | By Michael Ordoña
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" stars a 6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy and is set near New Orleans, in a fictional island region in constant danger of being washed away. The denizens' ingenuity comes as a constant surprise to viewers, who can almost feel the humidity and smell the swamp. But how did a crew of feature-film novices with a budget of just $1.5 million so persuasively create this idiosyncratic world? "The film jelled really well with people who were amateurs or who didn't have experience," says first-time feature director and co-writer Benh Zeitlin.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Michael Lehmann has been casting his Oscar ballot for nearly two decades. But when the filmmaker, best known for helming the 1988 comedy classic "Heathers," looked at the director nominees this year, he found himself stumped. "It's the most difficult director choice I've had to make since I joined the academy in 1996," Lehmann said Tuesday. "There's no clear front-runner, and every movie is not only really good but so different from every other movie. " Lehmann said he had such a hard time with which filmmaker to choose that, as of early Tuesday afternoon, he had not filled out his ballot.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2013
  BEST PICTURE "Argo" |  Review "Django Unchained" "Life of Pi" |  Review "Lincoln" |  Review "Zero Dark Thirty" "Les Miserables" "Silver Linings Playbook" |  Review "Beasts of the Southern Wild" "Amour" BEST DIRECTOR Ang Lee, "Life of Pi Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln" David O. Russell , "Silver Linings Playbook" Michael Haneke, "Amour" ...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
“The Bathtub,” the grittily colorful Bayou region in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” may seem like a difficult and impoverished place. After all, director Benh Zeitlin based it on towns outside the Louisiana levee system that have been destroyed and rebuilt dozens of times and lack what might be considered a conventional quality of life. But Zeitlin says that he views the Bathtub -- and the real-life towns that inspired it -- as something very different. “There's this kind of joyous spirit that's still intact and this culture that's still intact,” he told the audience at the Times' Envelope Screening Series earlier this week.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Sometimes, something small can slip away unnoticed. Don't let that happen with the stunning and startling indie drama"Beasts of the Southern Wild. "The film stars tiny Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy, a 6-year-old who lives with her father (Dwight Henry) in a Louisiana swamp called the Bathtub. Hers is a life beset by storms - her father's failing heart, a coming hurricane, unrelenting poverty. So powerful is Wallis' performance and the artistry of the film itself that even the prehistoric aurochs that somehow rise out of the past are as believable as the muddy earth that Hushpuppy walks.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Michael Lehmann has been casting his Oscar ballot for nearly two decades. But when the filmmaker, best known for helming the 1988 comedy classic "Heathers," looked at the director nominees this year, he found himself stumped. "It's the most difficult director choice I've had to make since I joined the academy in 1996," Lehmann said Tuesday. "There's no clear front-runner, and every movie is not only really good but so different from every other movie. " Lehmann said he had such a hard time with which filmmaker to choose that, as of early Tuesday afternoon, he had not filled out his ballot.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling
Looks like historical dramas, CIA thrillers and movies centering on mental illness aren't the only ones aiming to curry favor in Washington, D.C. -- now, it seems that a magical realist film also has its fans among the federal government's elite. This week, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" star Quvenzhané Wallis and director Benh Zeitlin have been making the rounds in the nation's capital in a series of events organized by studio Fox Searchlight and the filmmakers. The events -- highlighted by a visit to the White House -- were prompted by the film's producers Josh Penn, Michael Gottwald and Dan Janvey.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2013 | By David Kipen
"Hushpuppy grabs a baby chick and puts it to her ear. A TINY HEARTBEAT. She listens with focused wonder and intensity. " - from the "Beasts of the Southern Wild" screenplay Can we please drive a stake through the heart of the Screenwriting 101 commandment that using a voice-over is somehow cheating? Lucy Alibar, for one, would really appreciate it if all the script gurus would just pipe down. She's the co-screenwriter and, really, co-creator of "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which she and her friend since they were teens, director Benh Zeitlin, adapted from her play "Juicy and Delicious.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
Best actress Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis made her debut on "The Tonight Show" Thursday, but if the 9-year-old star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was fazed by the attention, she certainly didn't let on.  Accompanied by the film's director, Benh Zeitlin, and decked out in an ensemble of purple leggings, sparkly high-tops and a puppy-shaped purse, Wallis oozed with the preternatural confidence that's made her the darling of this awards...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2013 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
You actually might have seen some of the Oscar nominees this year. Voters for the 85th Academy Awards showered praise on a range of broadly popular studio movies - particularly Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" - while also finding room for the smaller art-house titles "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Amour" in a field of nine best picture contenders. The international thrillers "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo" won spots in the best picture field as well, but in two shocking snubs, their directors - Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck - did not receive nominations for director.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
Quvenzhané Wallis is excited to be an Oscar nominee, primarily because it gives her the chance to meet some movie actors. Yet, when pressed, the 9-year-old star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" says it's the stars of her favorite television shows "Jessie" and "Austin & Ally" that are most appealing to her. "I want to meet everybody on Disney Channel and Disney XD that are alive," she said in a phone interview Friday. Wallis and "Beasts" had been critical favorites since last year's Sundance Film Festival.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
Best actress Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis made her debut on "The Tonight Show" Thursday, but if the 9-year-old star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was fazed by the attention, she certainly didn't let on.  Accompanied by the film's director, Benh Zeitlin, and decked out in an ensemble of purple leggings, sparkly high-tops and a puppy-shaped purse, Wallis oozed with the preternatural confidence that's made her the darling of this awards...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
It's not easy creating mythical creatures on an indie-movie budget. But if you're a savvy director, there's always a way. Benh Zeitlin, the New Orleans-based filmmaker behind “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” was facing just that problem for his Bayou-set drama. He needed to create the aurochs, ancient beats that exist in the mind of the 6-year-old protagonist. But he didn't have the money to construct them digitally. How did he get around it? “We raised five potbelly pigs and taught them how to wear costumes,” Zeitlin told the audience at the Envelope Screening Series.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2013
  BEST PICTURE "Argo" |  Review "Django Unchained" "Life of Pi" |  Review "Lincoln" |  Review "Zero Dark Thirty" "Les Miserables" "Silver Linings Playbook" |  Review "Beasts of the Southern Wild" "Amour" BEST DIRECTOR Ang Lee, "Life of Pi Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln" David O. Russell , "Silver Linings Playbook" Michael Haneke, "Amour" ...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
NEW ORLEANS - Benh Zeitlin has just knocked on the door of the dilapidated home of the woman they call Mama Joe. Zeitlin, the director of this year's art-house film sensation "Beasts of the Southern Wild," waits a minute, then finds himself face-to-face with a 60-ish woman with red hair and mismatched black and purple socks. "You're back!" says Mama Joe, a self-described alcoholic and retired bar cook whose squat residence in a working-class section of this city might generously be described as hobo chic (notable décor flourish: a backyard urinal)
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