2013 festival archive
January 24-26, 2013

See list of films below

Media coverage
Independent Weekly: In its fourth year, Strange Beauty Film Festival keeps growing
Herald-Sun: Local film part of Strange Beauty Film Festival
News & Observer: Strange Beauty Film Fest celebrates the weird
Underground Film Journal: 2013 Strange Beauty Film Festival: Official lineup

Video preview
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Some special stuff at the festival
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Friday, Jan 25
Durham Cinematheque presents:

A brand new program featuring archival explorations from filmmaker and collector Tom Whiteside, with live music by Durham instrumental band Arrows Out.

"A film loop is a circle. Film on a reel is a spiral. Not everything is slow."
–Tom Whiteside                

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Saturday, Jan 26 (evening show)
The Strange Beauty Aural Fixation
The popular audio-only portion of the festival returns, curated by Jennifer Deer, and featuring audio documentary and art that is best experienced in a dark room with strangers.

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Saturday, Jan 26
Unofficial Afterparty at Motorco
After Strange Beauty lets out for the night, Durham Cinematheque will screen JUST BUGS with live score as part of the
Also on the bill: Durham's hardest rockin' working class heroes THE WIGG REPORT!

THURSDAY 1/24 8:15 PM

Golden Age of the Virgin Microbe   (3:47)
Lansing Bruce Robertson, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
A memo to the present: it was a perfect time to not be dead.

Thank You for Calling   (12:00)
Régis Coussot, Montreal, QC, Canada
“Open your mouth, say ‘Aaah’, swallow, clench your hand and above all, relax…” The story of a young man who decided to play poker with his health.

The White Coat Phenomenon   (2:50)
Kristin Reeves, Muncie, IN
Finding sex in an unexpected location requires some examination.

Boy Brides and Bachelors   (3:48)
Melissa Potter, Chicago, IL
An animated video shot on a cold January night in southeastern Serbia during a pagan ritual called Surovari in which men dress as women (large breasted peasants, grandmothers, and brides), and engage in pretend sexual acts with village bachelors. Nope, nothing to see here.

The Animated Heavy Metal Parking Lot   (1:40)
Leslie Supnet, Toronto, ON, Canada
Your favorite metalheads outside a Judas Priest concert in 1986–now with extra iconic distillation!

Citadel   (15:21)
Matt Glass, Clinton, UT
Trapped in a bottomless skyscraper, a gentleman puppet must navigate office furniture, elevators, and that burning smell coming from...his past?

♥++   (2:48)
Clint Enns, Toronto, ON, Canada
A video game that lies somewhere in the realm of text based RPG, digital exploration, and sexual enlightenment.

Sigmund’s Dream   (2:06)
Yoav Ruda, Tel Aviv, Israel
Physician, heal thyself.

Bridge   (10:58)
Kevin T. Allen, Brooklyn, NY
Interrogating various bridges with a contact microphone and macro vision, we come to understand them as a physiology of limbs, organs, eyes, and ears moving in time.

I Would Like It Very Much   (4:31)
Deron Williams, Carbondale, IL
I would like to be brave. I would like to embarrass us all.

Lumerence   (4:10)
Miwa Matreyek, Los Angeles, CA
The lonely earth searches, reaches, kisses. Music by Careful.

21 Chitrakoot   (9:10)
Shambhavi Kaul, Durham, NC
A land, as ancient and ideal as nature, is called up through the chroma-key backdrops of one of the world's most viewed mythological television series. But, as nostalgia turns into melancholia, there is no option but a war to destroy everything.

Digging and Riding   (4:54)
Patrick Moser, St. Augustine, FL
A quiet garden, a shovel, a looking for, a finding, a leaving alone.

Predator!!!   (8:15)
Jilli Rose, Castlemaine, VIC, Australia
The swimming worm and the puff thing wrangle in the endless cycle of nature. “It was just like Pixar…until the blood started.”

3 Waves   (2:11)
Francesca Talenti, Hillsborough, NC
A triptych from UNC-Chapel Hill’s wave tank, filmed with Muybridge in mind.

No Easy Out   (9:34)
Jim Kellough, Durham, NC
The Laws of Thermodynamics
1. You can't win.
2. You can't even break even.
3. Things are going to get worse before they get better.
4. Who says things are going to get better?
There is No Easy Out.

Dance 0-19   (3:22)
Stuart Pound, London, England
Music becomes numbers becomes poetry?

Song for Bobby XP1   (8:15)
Tommy Becker, San Francisco, CA
You’ve come back home, my little robot. Let me sing you to sleep with a little power ballad I like to call...

FRIDAY 1/25 8:15 PM

The Dream of Ore Magi   (4:18)
Evan Curtis, Queensbury, NY
Through an actual dream I had years ago, a talking shark reveals itself to be my artistic muse.

Zombie Dragonfly Discotheque   (5:47)
David Montgomery, Fernandina Beach, FL
Sesame Street meets Liquid Television in this re-animation of a swarm of Green darner dragonflies 'Anax junius' that passed through northeast Florida in late September.

Welcome to Creepyville Episode 4: Gabbing with Gabby   (3:07)
Rich Gurnsey, Raleigh, NC
Steven gets a little closer to the object of his affection, Gabby (who really, really needs to be aware of the title of this series).

Flexing Muscles   (21:00)
Charles Fairbanks, Yellow Springs, OH
Lucha libre, watching lucha libre,
being lucha libre.

Body Memory   (9:10)
Ülo Pikkov, Tallinn, Estonia
Our body remembers more than we can expect and imagine. It remembers also the sorrow and pain of the predecessors.

Some Girl Who Tells Stories   (10:32)
Whitney Johnston, Chicago, IL
Embracing neuroses. The state of being abjected. I work with what I know.

Paris 1994   (13:00)
D.A. Hoskins and Nickolaos Stagias, Toronto, ON, Canada
Movement, lovers, loss.

Belly   (7:29)
Julia Pott, London, England
Oscar is coming of age, against his better judgment. Among other matters: why does leaving something behind cause that disturbance in the pit of one’s stomach?

Tom Whiteside, Durham, NC
A new program featuring archival explorations from filmmaker and collector Tom Whiteside, with live music by Durham instrumental band Arrows Out.

"A film loop is a circle. Film on a reel is a spiral. Not everything is slow."
–Tom Whiteside

SATURDAY 1/26 3:15 PM

Dangerous Light   (6:00)
Robert Todd, Boston, MA
An archeological salvation by manipulation that dares to ask, “What if the Prequel Trilogy was actually

The Popcorn Kid   (13:00)
Sharon Mooney, Chicago, IL
Projectionist Rebecca Lyon is in tune with the projectors' sounds, smells and demands at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre. With her own realist take, she discusses the beauty, nightmares, and future of the film booth.

The Whale Story   (3:36)
Tess Martin, Seattle, WA
A tale of a fisherman who experiences a moment of connection with a humpback whale in the waters off of San Francisco. Is this an example of inter-species communication or a mysterious fluke?

Light Plate   (10:06)
Josh Gibson, Durham, NC
A hand-made celluloid essay, conjuring vistas of the Italian countryside.

A Walk in the Woods   (1:00)
Tess Martin, Seattle, WA
So, what did you see this week?

Luminaris   (6:19)
Juan Pablo Zaramella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
In a world controlled and timed by light, an ordinary man has a plan that could change the natural order of things.

Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise   (7:30)
Kelly Sears, Houston, TX
It’s not all that weird to have “high school yearbook” and “horror movie” in the same sentence, right?

Grandpa Gives You the Bird   (10:00)
Marc Maximov, Durham, NC
In a Boca Raton retirement community, you might encounter Marshall Salzman, retired architect, and a gentleman who has something unusual to share.

Elvis: Lonely Hunter of Circle Beach   (4:00)
Matt Hulse, London, England
Hunter. Gatherer. Warrior. And only slightly stale.

Atracados [Moored]   (10:30)
Filipe Afonso, Lisbon, Portugal
Two boys, in a harbor, talk about leaving their home and city. When one of them remembers a dream in which they were walking inside the sea, the other one reacts and takes the lead.

Lucidity   (2:26)
Jaime Andrews, Raleigh, NC
A frenetic animated tale in which a girl wakes up to find she has a sudden desire to search for something in life.

First Death in Nova Scotia   (6:30)
John Scott, Ithaca, NY
A girl must consider mortality in this adaptation of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem.

Ordinary Town   (2:31)
Michael Wilde, Seattle, WA
A naked man and his duplicates search for meaning in a constructed world.

WOLFKINO   (2:17)
Wolfgang Hastert, Durham, NC
A man, his neighbors, and a toy movie camera.

Field Fruit & Strawbattery   (5:12)
Ian McClerin, Durham, NC
Artists and biologists head to Texas and New Mexico on a quest for bats and ways to make people understand.

Living on the Edge   (3:30)
Aaron Zeghers, Winnipeg, Canada
The catharsis of a lapsed vegetarian results in an anthropological peepshow of the animal kingdom’s state of affairs via frame-by-frame super 8.

Emergence   (4:40)
Pablo Lorenzana & Katherine Trimble, Chicago, IL
A glimpse into a forgotten world where an unusual form of life retakes the dying landscape.

Memo to Pic Desk   (6:00)
Chris Kennedy & Anna van der Meulen, Toronto, ON, Canada
An sly look though the news photo archives of a Toronto daily…and the incriminating paper trail the makers left behind.

Minimalist Disco Factory   (1:06)
Ryan Groendyk, Hollis Coats, Robert Burns, Lansing, MI
I know strange beauty when I see it.

One Pathetic Kidney   (8:17)
Matt Giegerich, Burbank, CA
Purgatory is a game show? It makes so much sense now…

Song for the Collectors   (4:40)
Tommy Becker, San Francisco, CA
Even the apocalypse can be bottled and contained in a curio cabinet to provide psychic comfort, right? RIGHT?

SATURDAY 1/26 8:15 PM

(various artists)
Jennifer Deer curates a listening block of tantalizing and compelling audio documentary and art.

This year's audio selections:
On the Day I Died, It Was Mostly the Blues    (3:00)
Alix Blair, Carrboro, NC
Interviewing ghosts in my neighborhood cemetery about their after life.

Mr. Okra    (excerpt)
Diane Bock, Santa Barbara, CA
Like his daddy before him, Arthur J. Robinson- affectionately known as Mr. Okra- sings his songs, peddles his produce, and makes people happy.

Buddy and Rose    (3:37)
Bradley Campbell, Providence, RI
Scored by Hello Mtn., Portland, OR
94-year-old Albert "Buddy" Madden tells how he met the love of his life, Rose.

Vast Sublimation    (1:49)
Peter Christenson, Detroit, MI
And He said: "I want to leave myself alone somewhere between vast and

Vagabond    (excerpt)
Ora DeKornfeld, Chapel Hill, NC
One wanderlust vagabond's transformation embodied in three symbols: the camel, the bird, and the tree.

Rompecabezas    (excerpts)
Marcio Doctor, Hamburg, Germany
A birthday present for a friend in the form of an inner journey into his own musical mind.

John Dips Below    (excerpt)
Jeff Emtman, Boulder, CO / Bellingham, WA
An octopus gives a young scuba diver lessons on breathing slowly.

Reflections on Being Married to a Lifer    (9:00)
Matthew Harris, San Francisco, California
One woman's description of how difficult it is to spend time with her husband.

The Self Doubt of Dorothy Gale    (1:54)
Matt Hulse, United Kingdom
Where is Judy Garland? Somewhere. Somewhere.

Asheville    (excerpts)
Gerard Marcus, Washington D.C.
A piece written for a dance performance in 2012. Composed with samples created from the inspiration of current day North Carolina folk music, it was named after the town where the choreographer of the dance piece is from.

Drips    (2:06)
Jonathan Miller, Ithaca, NY
A fugue fashioned from recordings made in showers, tunnels and other incontinent places.

The Good Ship    (excerpts)
Sean Mullervy, London, UK
One man campaigns to save the ship he loves. Peter Maddison talks about the Victorian clipper ship the City of Adelaide, with diary entries from original passengers.

In the Office of Temporary Assistance    (3:20)
Lu Olkowski, New York, NY
transom.org link
A documentary poem about an afternoon that poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett spent with Billie Jean Hill at the New York State Office of Temporary Assistance.

Belly of the Whale    (excerpt)
Katherine Trimble, Chicago, IL
A tale of scale, from monstrous to minuscule, told by the cello as a sounding body.

In India There Are Roses Everywhere    (2:00)
Caleb Andrew Ward, Wilmington, NC
Coagulating rough sound into an ephemeral moment.

The Old Grey Goose is...    (1:06)
Tessie Word, Portland, OR
A siren sings a swan song through a plastic sea.
Robert Todd, Boston, MA
A blind predator dreams through its prey’s eyes.

My Father is Super Mega Strong
Maite Abella, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Just another Sunday stroll in the woods with Dad and his beastly muscles.

Compost Confidential   (4:01)
Caryn Cline, New York, NY
A propaganda film utilizing composted movie frames and repurposed audio.

Come, See the Real Flowers of This Painful World   (3:14)
Shan Shan, Durham, NC
A glimpse of the surreal in the real, inspired by an early Japanese haiku.

Document   (2:17)
Bill Brown, Chapel Hill, NC
Take the redacted version of the C.I.A. Inspector General's Special Review of Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities, September 2001- October 2003. Add laser printer and clear leader, mix well.

Choros   (12:57)
Michael Langan, San Francisco, CA
A chorus of women are borne from the movements of a single dancer in this dreamlike "pas de trente-deux."

Beginnings   (5:41)
Roger Beebe, Gainesville, FL
A “lazy man’s concordance” of the early history of the world.

The Voice of God   (9:35)
Bernd Luetzeler, Berlin, Germany
If God would come down to earth and try to earn a living in Bombay, most probably he would very soon become successful as a voiceover artist. A melo-dramatic docu-drama with voice-over in stop-motion and long-time exposure.

Second Firing   (2:33)
Kelly Oliver and Keary Rosen, Raritan, NJ
Trap door, top floor, top hat, bear trap, scardey cat, chew the fat.
And the bustage of other rhymes and images.