“In a million years, when kids go to school, they’re gonna know that once there was a Hushpuppy and she lived with her daddy in The Bathtub.” A million years might be a stretch, but people will definitely be talking about Beasts of The Southern WIld, this year’s dark horse sensation, for a very long time. The darling of film festivals like Sundance, the film has already won two Gotham Audience Awards and is sure to reign in more accolades in the coming awards season. In addition to the commanding performance of pint-sized lead actor Quvenzhane Wallis, and the titular beasts rendered by the Court 13 film crew, the third major player is the film’s score. And like the film’s heroine, the score is equal parts heart-wrenching and triumphant, filling the theater with thick, Cajun-style accordion melodies and folksy string arrangements.
We caught up with Benh Zeitlin and co-composer Dan Romer in the video above to discuss the score and Romer’s “scientific ability” to match sound to what Zeitlin showed him onscreen. The symbiotic relationship also works because as Zeitlin films, he is conscious of leaving out dialogue in moments “so the music can fill it in.” The pair also talked to us about some of their favorite off-kilter instruments, and performed a couple stripped-down renditions of the film’s theme.
Check out our other exclusive behind-the-scenes videos on Beasts of the Southern Wild below.