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FILM1102 Theories And Aesthetics Of Film

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FILM1102 Theories And Aesthetics Of Film

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FILM1102 Theories And Aesthetics Of Film

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Course Code: FILM1102
University: Norwegian University Of Science And Technology is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Norway


Talk about this film. Beast of the Southern Wild (2012)
Of course, if you are human, you are probably disturbed by the grinding poverty and the amazing toughness of the life of these people.  And none of us wants to have to think about a father like this.  Get past it.  These are givens in this film.
Consider aspects of this film as part of the “indie movement” (go back and read the article in the introduction if you skipped it!).
What is your reaction to the cinematography, the neorealism and the surrealism, the acting…..Don’t forget, we have the language to talk about this in an academic way now — as well as have a human response to the story.
I also think the setting is remarkable:  my daughter lives in New Orleans (and has since 2006 when she was able to start her freshman year of college a semester late thanks to Hurricane Katrina), and this area still shows signs of the damage inflicted by that storm.  You still hear people talking about things that happened as “before the Storm” or “after the Storm.”  Remember, the director moved to the area after the storm, and was intrigued by the resilience of the country people he met there.


In this paper, I will talk about the various cinematic aesthetics used in Beast of the Southern Wild, which is directed by Ben Zeitlin.
Ben Richarson has used an Arriflex 416 to shoot the film. The point of view shots helped stepping into the senses of the character (Marvell, 2013). The handheld shooting and the usage of 25mm and 50mm lenses added up to the flavour since it gave the shots a shallow depth of field. The shots gave an idea of the details that Hushpuppy, or the main protagonist focussed upon.
A hard-drinking guy named Wink played by Dwight Henry lives in a collapsing shack with his six-year-old daughter Hushpuppy played by newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis. They  have delivered stellar performances with emoting every bit of shot with such brilliance that it made them look absolutely realistic. They have perfectly emoted their struggles of living in such a vulnerable area to the extent that it uncovered the neorealist feel.
This film has a neorealist approach to its way of storytelling. It focuses on the everyday life and struggles of a family from the lower class while bringing into notice the forces of nature that take an attempt to consume it.
The plot of the films allows the director to play with the surrealist approach while telling the story (Petersen, 2013). The deterioration of nature and appearance of prehistoric creatures opened doorways for  fantasy and reality to meet and divert the trajectory of the film from a neorealist to a surrealist one.
This film is an example of the appropriate usage of the auteur theory which has set a benchmark in the cinematic language.
Marvell, L. (2013). Beasts of the southern wild. ArtsHub online, 1-3.
Petersen, A. (2013). Magic Realism in Cinema, an analysis (Bachelor’s thesis).

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