How did this movie get made?

This is a question I ask all the time since I see a lot of movies with my husband.

He never answers by the way.  It’s a rhetorical question.

I ask it most frequently right after we’ve seen a remake, or a sequel, or a just- plain- awful movie.  And though I don’t expect an answer, what I really mean by this question is : what were they thinking???

I know the answer anyway–having lived for years in Los Angeles in my former life married to someone in the movie business.

But I still can’t help wondering whether anyone ever looked at the dailies.

Much less frequently, I ask the same question:  How did this movie get made?   Only with an entirely opposite meaning.  

I always marvel  that someone managed to have enough passion, belief, gumption, vision, drive, whatever it takes to convince someone to see what’s possible and to put up enough money .

I asked that question tonight —after seeing Beasts of the Southern Wild. 

How did this movie get made?

I found the answer after we got home;  and also learned how the young director found the 6 year old girl who is the central character.

But that’s not what matters.

The movie and its star are both small miracles.   Run, don’t walk to see it;  just don’t miss it.



  1. D/

    Thanks for following up on our seeing this truly inspiring and original movie by doing the research to see how it came to be. As extraordinary as the movie was, so is the story of how the young band of film makers merged with the locals in southern Louisiana to form one organic community – a little like a kibbutz in Israel.
    The result of their collaboration produced a movie that had an effect on me that I have rarely had. The device of having epical events processed through the imagination of the 6 year old narrator of the film was genious. Of course they needed a very special 6 year old to make it work. Al Gore’s movie about the coming apocalypse was alarming and discouraging. This movie was, for me, much more powerful and amazingly uplifting.


    • I also found the back story almost as remarkable as the film; and the actors most remarkable of all. I can’t agree that I found it uplifting, but it’s truly powerful.

  2. marlawentner says:

    Yes, Darryle, “Beasts” was quite a movie and quite a movie-making accomplishment. Made for under $2,000,000 — unheard of these days! And the day after I saw that little miracle, I saw “Take This Waltz”, which in its own way is another little miracle about day-to-day life, day-to-day marriage and the choices we all make. Still thinking about both movies a week later!

    • Marla, you see everything! I’ve been also wanting to see “Take this Waltz” since I saw the previews; and now that I have your recommendation, will try to get to it this weekend. Thanks so much; also thanks for posting the extra review of “Beasts” below. Maybe you should write a blog of movie reviews…..

  3. marla wentner says:

    Here is an interesting review from our local Marin County paper, The Pacific Sun, about “Beasts”. I thought you might enjoy reading it.

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