Benh Zeitlin’s tiny budgeted Beasts of the Southern Wild, about the adventures of Hushpuppy in the Bathtub, came out of nowhere last year to get nominated for best picture, actress, director, and adapted screenplay, delighting the Academy and Oprah alike, despite it being mostly a longer, more self-important MGMT video or Levi’s ad (but hey, one man’s opinion). But if he left any Oscars on the table last time, Ben Zeitlin sounds like he’s refining his own potion, to give it just the right amounts of magic and realism.
He recently described his next project to the New York Times, in their lengthy profile of 20 Directors to Watch:
“The new film is about a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging over a form of pollen that breaks the relationship between aging and time. It follows a friendship-love story-adventure of her and a joyous, reckless, pleasure-mongering young boy as they swirl in and out of youth and as the ecosystem around them spirals toward destruction. We’re working on it all day every day, but as all psychotic adventures go, you know where your destination is but not how long it’s going to take to get there.”
Yeah, but what will the adorable little girl’s name be this time?!? Hash Brown? Dumplin? Pea Shoot? Red Bean? Praline? Cheese Grits? Ratatouille? Okra?
I know, I’m probably giving him too hard a time. Coming off a critical triumph like Beasts, it’s admirable that he’s sticking with what he does and not just taking a paycheck to make Pirates of the Caribbean 12 or Johnny Depp Finds a Turban or something. I’ll give his next one a chance, I just worry that I’ll have to watch it with my nose inside my own asshole.
(pic via Getty)