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“Strange Beauty Film Festival 2011” Opens on Feb. 17th at Manbites Dog in Durham

"On Top of the Tallest Mountain in the World" by Matt Reynolds, Portland, OR

"On Top of the Tallest Mountain in the World" by Matt Reynolds, Portland, OR

SPENDY Productions will present Strange Beauty Film Festival 2011, organized by Joyce Ventimiglia and Jim Haverkamp, on Feb. 17-19 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC. The second annual film festival will be presented in four blocks as part of Manbites Dog’s “Other Voices Series.” Block 1 starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Block 2 starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Block 3 starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday, and Block 4 starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

According to Manbites Dog Theater:

Between terrifying normality and sublime fever dreams lies Strange Beauty…. Durham’s newest film festival … shows striking and intriguing short films from around the Triangle and around the world. The only requirement for entry is that the films be strangely beautiful, beautifully strange, or some combination thereof. Festival organizers Joyce Ventimiglia and Jim Haverkamp strive to achieve an intriguing mix of fiction, documentary, experimental, animation, and otherwise wholly unclassifiable works in the festival.

“The inaugural festival in 2010 played to sold out houses and enthusiastic crowds. For the 2011 version, the festival has added a third night of programming and expanded to include audio-only work and several music-themed events.”

Manbites Dog says SPENDY Productions will present these films in four blocks:

BLOCK 1 (Opening Night): THURSDAY, FEB. 17TH, 8 P.M.

Strange Beauty’s opening night [features] an eclectic mix of strange and beautiful short films from around the world, and ‘Interviewed,’ a Durham Cinematheque program by local filmmaker and archivist Tom Whiteside and Durham sound artist Khristian Weeks ( ‘Interviewed’ starts with a mysterious set of six filmed interviews shot in Salt Lake City in 1960. We don’t know who made these, or for what purpose. The interview questions don’t reveal a particular agenda. Whiteside and Weeks extrapolate from there.”


“We continue our exploration of strangely beautiful documentaries, animations, music videos, fiction films, and otherwise unclassifiable works. We also present the world premiere of the documentary ‘Sound Between Lines: Triangle Soundpainting Orchestra‘ by former Durham resident Jason Middleton. The film reveals the inner workings of the local ensemble whose skilled musicians improvise every performance. After the movie, the Triangle Soundpainting Orchestra ( will perform live, accompanied by local artist Jim Kellough’s kaleidoscopic video concoction, ‘WINKY.'”


“Another heaping helping of short films lying somewhere between terrifying normality and sublime fever dream, capped off by ‘Drifting‘ by Seattle filmmaker Malic Amalya (, with a live musical accompaniment by Wendy Spitzer of Chapel Hill band Felix Obelix ( Amalya’s film is an homage to and polemic against nostalgia for Americana, using rephotographed 8mm home movies. The filmmaker asks for a live accompaniment by a local artist, whose only instructions are to perform a ‘lullaby for Americana.’ Spitzer is ideally suited for the task. Spitzer describes her sound as ‘a musical cocktail mixed by a barmaid with adventuresome taste,’ which includes classical, rock, and avant garde tomfoolery.


“A last jolt of films about the real and the surreal worlds hidden behind the veil of the everyday. Plus a new addition to the festival, the ‘Strange Beauty Aural Fixation,’ a listening session produced by Big Shed Audio + Media (, a production shop co-directed by Durham audio producer and writer Jennifer Deer. The ‘Aural Fixation’ will feature audio documentary and audio art curated from the archives of The Big Shed Podcast, a DIY [do-it-yourself] kinda place for the exploration of voices, stories, and sound.”


“The ‘Strange Beauty Film Festival Musical After-Party ‘at Motorco Music Hall, 723 Riggsbee Ave., Durham, NC 27701 ( Strange Beauty ticketholders get a $2 discount at the door, paying only $5 for the show instead of $7. Musical performances by Justin Robinson & the Mary Annettes (, featuring Justin Robinson of the Carolina Chocolate Drops; Chapel Hill’s Felix Obelix (; and a full band show by Wes Phillips ( In between the music sets, [there will be] a dance installation/performance by Chapel Hill’s Alexis Mastromichalis.”

SECOND OPINION: Feb. 16th Durham, NC Independent Weekly preview by Chris Vitiello:; Feb. 13th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview:; and Feb. 12th Durham, NC Herald-Sun preview by Cliff Bellamy: (Note: You must register first to read this article).

SPENDY Productions presents STRANGE BEAUTY FILM FESTIVAL 2011 at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18 and 3 and 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.

TICKETS: $12 ($5 students and $10 seniors and active-duty military personnel).

BOX OFFICE: 919/682-3343 or








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