‘District 9’ director Neill Blomkamp knows how to stretch a dollar

For anyone who follows Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes machinations, the documentary-style thriller "District 9" isn’t just a surprisingly thoughtful sci-fi standout in a season characterized by big, dumb studio tent-pole movies; it’s a revelation.

The movie arrives as a king-making debut for its writer-director, Neill Blomkamp, who won’t turn 30 until next month and who up until its release had no feature film experience, save for a scuttled attempt to adapt the video game "Halo" to the screen. But "District 9’s" wow factor (quantifiable, among other ways, by its 88% "freshness" rating at Rotten Tomatoes) can be attributed to something other than Blomkamp’s pedigree. And it isn’t the fact that the movie was executive-produced by Oscar-winning writer-director Peter Jackson of the "Lord of the Rings" franchise fame, whose oversight on the project helped ensure that the highly original "District 9" would connect with its crucial fanboy audience at a time when every other successful multiplex offering seems, by default, to be based on a toy or comic book character.

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Directors, Filmmaking


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