Benh Zeitlin

  • Aired:  02/07/13
  •  | Views: 18,886

The Oscar-nominated director discusses his film collective, Court 13, and Louisiana communities that sit on the wrong side of the levee. (6:13)

BEN BEN

>> Stephen: THANKS SO MUCH.

WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THE DIRECTOR WHO AT THE AGE OF 26 WHO HAS DIRECTED HIS FIRST FEATURE FILM

NOMINATED FOR OSCARS.

I WILL PRETEND I'M HAPPY FOR HIM.

PLEASE WELCOME BENH ZEITLIN.

THANK YOU FOR COMING ON.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: WHAT A WHIERLWIND FOR YOU.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

IT'S BEEN KATIA PUTTED.

>> Stephen: YOU REALLY HAVE.

YOU ARE A FILMMAKER, COMPOSER, AM NATEOR, SOMETHING CALLED CLICK 14 A COLLECTIVE.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN SNRVELINGS A GROUP OF ARTISTS OF ALL DIFFERENT KINDS THAT COME

TOGETHER TO MAKE THE FILMS, BOAT BUILDERS, SCULPTURES, EVERYBODY GETS TOGETHER.

>> Stephen: DID THEY WORK TON THIS FILM?

>> THEY DID STOONCHTS YOU ARE DIRECTOR AND COWRITER OF "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD."

THIS IS YOUR FIRST FEATURE, AS I SAID, NOMINATED FOR FOUR OSCARS.

WHAT IS THAT LIKE?

[LAUGHTER]

>> EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW.

IT'S SURREAL.

I DON'T KNOW.

YOU KNOW, IT'S -- WE NEVER REALLY IMAGINED ANY OF THIS HAPPENING.

I'VE NEVER BEEN TO LOS ANGELES BEFORE THIS HAPPENED.

>> Stephen: OH, YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT.

>> IT'S A BIZARRE EXPERIENCE WE NEVER EXPECTED ANY OF THIS.

>> Stephen: IT TAKES PLACE AT THE VERY ABSOLUTE BOTTOM OF THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA A PLACE CALLED

THE BATHTUB.

TELL PEOPLE WHAT IT IS.

WHAT SP SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT.

>> IT'S A COMMUNITY AT THE WRONG SIDE OF LEVEES AT THE BOTTOM OF LOUISIANA.

>> Stephen: WHY WOULD ANYONE LIVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF LEVEE.

THE LEVEE IS TO KEEP NATURE AWAY FROM PEOPLE.

>> BUT THERE'S TOWNS THAT EXIST DOWN THERE THAT HAVE A WAY OF LIFE THAT EXISTS FOR HUNDREDS OF

YEARS AND THEY ARE ROOTED TO THE ENVIRONMENT THERE.

THE ECONOMY IS BASED ON FISHING AND DEGREING ALL THINGS VERY SPECIFIC TO THE REGION.

SO THE CULTURE IS BASED IN BEING ABLE TO STAY IN THESE SPECIAL PLACES.

WHAT THE FILM IS ABOUT IS THE WAY THE PLACES PLACES PLACES ARE ENDANGE THE MOMENT.

>> Stephen: THE ECONOMY DOWN THERE SEEMS TO BE BASED ON HEART RENDING SANDNESS.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> NO IT'S --

>> Stephen: OBVIOUSLY IT'S ULTIMATELY A HOPEFUL TALE BUT IT'S HEART PIERCING AT TIMES.

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, I MEAN, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE FILM IS ABOUT IS THE WAY IN A THE PEOPLE

IN THE BATHTUB NOT JUST SURVIVED THIS STORM BUT ALSO, YOU KNOW, KEEP A HOLD OF THEIR JOY AND

THIS CULTURE THAT IS INCREDIBLY SELL BRA TORY AND JOYOUS.

>> Stephen: WE HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF THAT, A LIP CLIP THAT TALKS JUST TO TAKE.

>> BUT ME AND MY DADDY WE STAY RIGHT HERE.

WE SEE WHAT THE EARTH IS FOR.

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

>> Stephen: IT IS UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL, JOYOUS AND WILD WHEN I FIRST SAW THAT I THOUGHT THIS

IS LIKE WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE BUT WITH PEOPLE.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> IT IS WILD.

YOU KNOW, AND WHEN YOU GO DOWN THERE IT'S A WILD CULTURE.

>> Stephen: WHAT BROUGHT YOU DOWN THERE?

YOU ARE NOT FROM DOWN THERE, ARE YOU?

YOU DON'T HAVE A DEEP LOUISIANA --

>> DEFINITELY NOT.

MY FOLKS BROUGHT ME THERE WHEN I WAS 13 YEARS OLD.

>> Stephen: ABOUT A MONTH AGO.

>> IT WAS LAST WEEK.

[LAUGHTER]

AND I WENT BACK TO START MAKING FILMS THERE BECAUSE THE WAY THEY SORT OF -- CREATIVITY BLEEDS OUT

OF CULTURE WAS SOMETHING I WANTED TO BE A PART OF.

>> Stephen: THE DAY YOU STARTED SHOOTING IS THE DAY OF THE DEEP WATER HORIZON BLOW UP.

HOW DID THAT AFFECT YOUR PRODUCTION AND HOW YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT AREA?

IMMEDIATELY IT WAS NOT JUST ENDANGERED FROM THE STORM BUT POISONED OUT OF EXISTENCE.

>> YEAH AND THESE TOWNS DOWN THERE REALLY EXIST ON WHAT THEY PULL OUT OF THE WATER.

THERE WAS A REAL FEELING AS WE WERE SHOOTING A LOT OF THIS FILM THAT WE COULD BE PHOTOGRAPHING

THINGS FOR LAST TIME.

THERE WAS A PALPABLE SENSE THAT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE FILM COULD BE HAPPENING TO THIS PLACE.

THAT AND WE WERE LITERALLY NEGOTIATING WITH BP SCECTSIVES TO GET THE CAMERAS ROLLING ON

SOME OF THE LOCATES.

>> Stephen: DID THEY WANT TO YOU ROLL?

>> THEY WERE LOOKING SO BAD THEY ACTUALLY THOUGHT WE'LL SEEM NICE IF WE HELP THE STRUGGLING

FILMMAKERS TO GET OUT THERE.

>> Stephen: IT'S BETTER TO SEEM NICE THAN BE NICE.

[LAUGHTER]

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE YOUNG LADY THE STAR OF THIS.

SHE'S NOMINATED.

SHE WAS SIX YEARS OLD THE YOUNG ACTRESS PLAYING HUSH PUPPY.

QUOVEN JENAIS WALLACE.

>> CLOSE.

>> Stephen: WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO HAVE A LEAD ACTRESS IS WHO WAS SIX YEARS OLD?

DID SHE SAY I'M NOT COMING OUT OF MY TRAILER BECAUSE SOMEONE EIGHT MY ANIMAL CRACKERS.

>> THEY WERE A BARGE BEGANNING TOOL ON SET.

>> Stephen: NOMINATED FOR FOUR OSCARS IF YOU CAN ONLY WIN ONE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

>> HERS.

>> Stephen: SHE'S SIX.

YOU ARE ALMOST 30678 IT'S ALMOST OVER FOR YOU.

TH

Loading...