Sunday, May 31, 2009

PHOTOS: Location Scouting

As part of preproduction, the Court makes frequent trips south of New Orleans--not only to scout locations, but to conjure inspiration for our next feature film, "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD."

Naturally we thought we'd share a few of the pictures we've snapped down there, with this here slideshow. Courtesy of the wild lands of Grand Isle, Mamou, Honey Island, Venice, Abbeville, Atchafaleya, Chauvin, Cypermore Point, Des Allmands, Gibson, Isle de Jean Charles, West Pontchartrain, with special guest, the Boomtown Belle.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cary Fukunaga Premieres "SIN NOMBRE" in New Orleans

An admittedly long overdue post-

Court 13 friend Cary Fukunaga recently paid us a visit here in New Orleans, and between the racquetball and the Cajun food, also found time to premiere his new feature, "SIN NOMBRE." A nearly packed house gathered at Canal Place on the opening night of May 8, to watch the film and stick around for the Q & A Cary held afterwards. A picture from the premiere of Court 13ers (from left to right) Josh, Michael, Dan, and Justin, with Cary in the middle, below a somewhat silly marquee:

Cary came into the Court 13 world somewhat serendipitously; when we were in the last of 4 legs of production on "GLORY AT SEA," he and 3 blessed friends from NYU came down to help us finish it. Cary was the Director of Photography for the underwater sequences, and, with risk of tooting our own horn, we think he did a pretty good job to say the least.

"SIN NOMBRE" is the story of a young Honduran girl making the dangerous trip from her homeland to the United States, via the trains of Mexico--where she meets an exiled member of the deadly Mexican gang Mara Salvatrucha 13, on the run himself. Besides being visually stunning, the film has an attention to the detail of the reality it depicts that is based in anything but conjecture; Cary went down to Mexico and actually rode these often hijacked, gang-ridden trains himself.

Everyone should see this film, and not just because we're friends with Cary. It's one of those movies that sheds light on an experience that would otherwise never infiltrate most people's consciousness; it breathes visual life into subject matter that we rarely hear about, and when we do it's relegated to the words of print journalism or pundit talk fests. But right now, it is (probably) playing at a theater near you. Do your darndest to go see it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Actors Confirmed for Sundance Director's Lab!

As announced in a prior post, Court 13's Benh Zeitlin was fortunate enough to be selected for the Sundance Directors Lab for the upcoming Court project, "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD." A large part of the lab provides Benh the opportunity to workshop the script with some talented actors ideal for the main parts. The parts to be filled in this case include WINK, a high spirited, semi-devoted father and fully devoted crazy man, who wages war against FEMA, mother nature, and the disease in his body; and BATHSHEBA, a no nonsense pedagogue who rules over her schoolchildren with an iron fist and the stunning form of a lady bullfighter.

Recently, the Court received word that its two top choices to workshop these parts would be able to do so with Benh in Utah. Wink and Bathsheba will be rehearsed by.... (drum roll please) EDDIE ROUSE and PAULA JAI PARKER.

Mr. Rouse's credits include "GEORGE WASHINGTON," "UNDERTOW," Zach Godshall's "LOW AND BEHOLD," and "PINEAPPLE EXPRESS."


Needless to say, the Court is extremely excited and humbled to be able to rehearse the script with such fine thespians. We leave you with a clip of the inestimable Ms. Parker, from the cinematic masterpiece "Friday."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Of Aurochs and Angels... the Refuge of Art."

The new Court 13 project "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD" is a tale of many things: fathers and daughters, drunks and cowards, pirated ferry boats, hallowed half-time shows, ramen noodles and gator grits. But on a certain, larger scale, it's also about the beginning of the End. And the agent of the apocalypse in this case is none other than a fearsome, beastly creature called an Aurochs.

Long extinct, the aurochs has thawed from its icy grave thanks to the global thermometer's steady climb, to rise again and wreak havoc on Canada... and then our young protagonist's beloved Southern environs.

Sound far-fetched? The stuff of mere fantasy? I present the following video, from National Geographic. Undead woolly mammals: coming soon to a tundra, or cinema, near you.

You can get the skinny on the whole discovery here, at the National Geographic page: photos, the mammoth lab, and a piece on mammoth cloning.

The real aurochs actually have a well carved out place in cultural history, recorded by everyone from the cavemen at Lascaux to Vladimir Nabokov. In fact, we'll leave with a quote about them from Julius Caesar, describing their ferocity in "Gallic Wars":

"These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance, color, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied. These the Germans take with much pains in pits and kill them. The young men harden themselves with this exercise, and practice themselves in this sort of hunting, and those who have slain the greatest number of them, having produced the horns in public, to serve as evidence, receive great praise. But not even when taken very young can they be rendered familiar to men and tamed."