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Little Hushpuppy in a big forgotten world

Benh Zeitlin's first feature film, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (2012), is at times a wonderful and at times a gripping story of a little girl making sense in a forgotten land of trees and rust. It follows in the tradition of movies about happy children running through an unhappy world, in an America we never see on the screen. If she does not steal your heart in the first hour, she will surely grab it in the final thirty minutes. So, if you have your own little Ruthless Gradeschooler her age, then I pity the levees that hold back your tears.

Roger Ebert

Quvenzhané. A small force of nature.

She is the small, determined center of Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which opens July 6 and seems destined for a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. Quvenzhané Wallis was six when she filmed the role. She and all of the other actors were non-professionals. Incredible.

I interviewed Quvenzhané, her co-star Dwight Henry and her director Benh Zeitlin during their Chicago visit. This video was edited by Paul Meekin. My print interview with Quvenzhané follows.

Ebert Club

#114 May 9, 2012

Marie writes: Intrepid club member Sandy Kahn discovered the following Danish designers "Monstrum" who make extraordinary playgrounds for children. I think they're the stuff of dreams, whatever your age. Indeed; behold the Rahbek kindergarten in Frederiksberg, Denmark, and Monstrum's first playground...

The Rocket and The Princess Tower! "Just like a set design, a playground must have an inspiring front that attracts children, and a functional backside with climbing, sliding and relaxing options. The idea of the playground is to combine a girl's mind with a boy's approach into one big common playground. The princess tower consists of three floors, and the rocket has two floors. From the top floor of the Rocket, you can slide down the 6 m long double slide together with an astronaut friend." (click to enlarge.)